Dental implants are a very popular method for replacing lost or missing teeth. Because they are strong, durable, and usually successful, implants are highly effective at restoring full function to the teeth. Unfortunately though, in some cases, dental implants are not possible where the quality or density of bone is poor. So, is there any way it is possible to make dental implants an option for such patients?
1. Can You Make Bone Stronger By Breaking Bone?
In a recent Journal of Oral Implantology article, it was suggested that bone could be stimulated to grow if micro cracks were introduced in the jaw bones. If true, this idea would give hope to those patients whose bone density and quality is currently inadequate to cope with dental implants. The theory is that micro cracks could be made in a patient's jaw bone and once these had healed, those patients would be in a position to have dental implants fitted. This would mean teeth could be fully restored where this would not otherwise be possible.
At the present time, the only method of improving bone density where this is compromised is to lift the sinus or use bone grafting techniques. Procedures like these are quite detailed and somewhat expensive. There is also the possibility that a bone graft would not be successful the first time it is tried.
2. What The Research Found
In the study mentioned, an instrument known as an Osteotensor was used. The Osteotensor was especially designed for the purpose of this study on dental implants. Essentially, this equipment is capable of introducing a sequence of micro cracks in the part of the jawbone where the dental implant would be placed. Those undertaking the study found there was a biological response after introducing the micro cracks. The bone began to regenerate and heal when stem cells, proteins, and other elements needed to stimulate growth set to work. It takes anything from 45 days up to 90 for the healing process to take place. But, once healing is complete, the patient would be able to have their dental implant put in place.
In particular, the researchers monitored a 74 year old patient who had undergone this procedure. The osteotensor was not able to penetrate the patient's bone at 23 of the impact sites 45 days after the micro cracks had been introduced. Once 90 days had elapsed, the instrument was not able to penetrate any of the 42 impact sites. When harder type II bone had replaced softer type IV bone, it was thought appropriate and safe to go ahead and place the dental implants.
The Aim Is For Dental Implants to Succeed
At the present time, dental implants enjoy a success rate of 95%, but many patients are still prevented from having this procedure because their quality and density of bone is compromised. This new study offers hope that even more patients will be able to benefit from dental implant surgery in the future, and that the success rate of the procedure itself will even improve on its current standing.
To see if you qualify for dental implants, contact a local dentist like Dr. Andres Maeso today.