Strengthen Your Smile for Dental Implants
To be deemed an ideal candidate for dental implants, patients need to have healthy gums and a strong jawbone. However, if you’ve lived with missing teeth or struggled with gum disease for a long time, your smile may not be ready for implants. Thankfully, at Central Texas Dental Care, Dr. Sager offers a full range of supplemental treatments to prepare you for your implant placement and elevate your oral health.
Learn more about how Dr. Sager can improve the condition of your jaw and gums with our supplemental treatments. With the proper dental care, you’ll soon have a smile that’s strong enough for dental implants.
What Are Supplemental Treatments?
A supplemental treatment is a type of procedure that improves the condition of your oral health in preparation for another dental process. For dental implants, a supplemental procedure is often recommended when a patient has either a weak jawbone or is suffering from some form of gum disease. Supplemental procedures can include intensive cleanings to remove underlying bacteria from your teeth, a jawbone graft, or a gum graft.
During your initial consultation, Dr. Sager will conduct a full examination of your teeth and gums to determine if you require supplemental treatment. Our office will work with you to determine a treatment plan that’s personalized to the specific needs of your smile.
A bone graft is recommended for patients with insufficient jawbone density. When you lose a tooth, the exposed area loses its source of stimulation and begins to deteriorate as a result. This condition is especially common in patients who previously replaced missing teeth with dentures or a dental bridge. Bone grafting fixes this issue by ensuring that your jaw has the strength it needs to support your dental implants.
The procedure involved taking tissue from another area and grafting it to the deficient area of your jawbone. During the healing process, your jaw will bond with the new tissue and integrate it into itself, resulting in a new healthy bone that’s ready for any procedure. This treatment also helps stimulate further bone growth and improve your oral health.
For some patients who experience bone deterioration, their jaw may thin along the alveolar crest, making the structure too narrow for placing dental implants. Luckily, Dr. Sager is able to perform a version of bone grafting known as ridge modification that involves strengthening the area with healthy tissue from a donor source. This treatment will ensure that your smile is durable enough to handle dental implants.
If you’re missing teeth in your upper jawbone, the lack of stimulation can result in bone loss, which may also increase the size of your sinus cavity, interfering with the placement of your dental implants. Sinus augmentation is another variation of bone grafting that adds to the existing tissue in your upper arch, restoring the jaw structure and improving your chances of being an ideal candidate for dental implants.
Dr. Sager may recommend a gum graft if you suffer from any advanced forms of periodontitis (gum disease) or show signs of gum recession. This occurs when unhealthy bacteria in your smile infect both the hard and soft tissues of your gums.
A gum graft is similar to a bone graft in that it’s used to stimulate gum growth and retention. After cleaning your teeth and eliminating any bacteria, Dr. Sager will begin the procedure by removing a section of your tissue from an unaffected area of your mouth, like your palate, and attach it to the treated area. Since gums heal quicker than bone, you should be an ideal candidate for your dental implants within six weeks.
Patients may require dental implants to replace a tooth that has been badly damaged due to suffering significant trauma or decay. In these cases, Dr. Sager may conduct a tooth extraction to make room for you to receive a dental implant.
The procedure for extracting your tooth is relatively simple. Before working on your smile, Dr. Sager will apply a local anesthetic to ensure that you don’t feel any pain during the extraction. Any discomfort you may experience afterwards will only last for a few days and can be mediated with over-the-counter pain relievers. After a few weeks, your gums will fully heal, and you’ll be ready to receive your dental implants.
Gum Disease Treatment
It’s crucial to have healthy gums to ensure a successful implant procedure. If you have symptoms related to gum disease, Dr. Sager will use the LANAP® protocol to eliminate any bacterial infection in your tissue. This procedure utilizes a specialized laser called the PerioLase® MVP-7™ to vaporize bacteria in your gums without harming any of your healthy tissue in the process.
Best of all, LANAP treatment is highly accurate and pain-free, allowing you to heal quickly and without much discomfort. Unlike traditional methods of surgery, you won’t have to deal with stitches or bleeding. LANAP’s unmatched precision offers predictable results that’ll improve your oral health for implants.
Frequently Asked Questions
When is supplemental treatment necessary?
Supplemental treatments are recommended to prepare your teeth, gums, and jawbone for dental implant placement. Patients who suffer from tooth loss, gum disease, or have worn dentures for a long time typically don’t have enough bone or gum density to support an implant. Thankfully, our Waco dentists can help you become an ideal candidate for dental implants through our various treatment options.
Will I experience any pain with a bone graft?
A bone graft procedure is virtually painless, as Dr. Sager will administer a local anesthetic to the treated area of your jaw beforehand. Any pain you experience afterwards can be alleviated with a cold compress, over-the-counter pain medication, and further aftercare instructions from Dr. Sager. We also recommend waiting until the effects of the numbing agent wears off before eating, as this lowers the chance of accidentally damaging the surgical site.
If you experience persistent pain for an extended amount of time after the procedure, contact our Hewitt office at (254) 203-7405 to receive immediate assistance. We’ll work with you to resolve any issues you may have and relieve you of any painful symptoms.
When is a sinus augmentation required?
A sinus augmentation is often performed to boost bone density inside the pocket of your jaw behind your molars and maxillary sinus. There are multiple reasons why this treatment may be required, including:
- Inadequate or weak bone density
- Missing back teeth or molars
- Bone deterioration or significant decay
- Increased sinus cavity size
Will insurance pay for my supplemental treatment?
Most insurance providers will cover a portion of supplemental procedures, but some don’t cover preexisting conditions. We strongly recommend that you contact your personal insurance provider to get a detailed understanding of your coverage.
If you’d prefer, a knowledgeable member of our staff can contact them on your behalf to ensure you receive the maximum benefits possible.
Give Your Smile the Attention It Needs
Dental implants are a permanent and natural-looking tooth loss solution. During your initial consultation, either Dr. Sager or one of our other experienced dentists will examine your teeth, gums, and jawbone to determine if you require any supplemental treatments.
Start your journey to receiving your implants today! Contact our Waco office by calling (254) 203-7405 or by filling out an online contact form.