A Firm Foundation
A firm foundation is the key to success in almost everything in life. From a marriage to a house, the foundation determines how solid the structure itself is. Is it built on sinking sand or on firm concrete? Is it held up with solid beams, or flimsy Styrofoam? The foundation determines the longevity. And the same goes for dental implants.
And what constitutes a firm foundation?
Dental implants have to be placed in a firm foundation for long-term success. And what constitutes a firm foundation? Bone. Firm, solid, healthy bone. And enough of it. This can be a real challenge when it’s considered that a dental implant is replacing a missing tooth. A tooth that was extracted for what unhealthy reason? Was it fractured? That would be due to excess forces placed on the tooth which also affects the quality of the bone. Was the tooth infected and abscessed? Does it have a failing root canal? That would have left a hole in the bone where the infection literally dissolved the bone around the root of the tooth. Was the tooth lost to periodontal disease? That would mean at least 50% bone loss around that tooth root. So for whatever reason a tooth is lost, the surrounding bone is affected in a negative manner. And let’s not forget the affect that simply extracting a tooth can have on the surrounding bone—everything from fracturing the bone in the tooth socket to completely losing most all of the bone because of infection. None of this leaves a firm foundation. So how is there ever enough bone to place a healthy dental implant? Bone grafts to the rescue!
Without bone grafts, dental implant success would not average 98%, which is the success rate of dental implants today. At Origin Dental Wellness, EVERY tooth that is extracted is immediately replaced with a bone graft. And to make the graft even more successful, we utilize Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) in every graft we do. The growth factors in the PRP, which come from the patient’s own blood, concentrate all the healing cells in that graft. This results in faster healing time with little to no post-operative problems. And better healing! So we have a firm foundation of bone when it’s time to place an implant. Without this initial grafting procedure, patients will lose 60% of the bone in that area within the first year.
So what if a new patient comes to see us who wants a dental implant, but the tooth was already extracted without a bone graft placed? We still have options! With the medical advances of today, there are many methods that can be utilized to grow bone, both vertically and horizontally. Everything from bone blocks to bone plates to bone dowels to bone expanders is available. Dental implant surgical procedures are quickly advancing, and we at Origin Dental Wellness are quickly traveling to whatever destination to learn these advanced and dependable techniques.
Maintaining or growing healthy abundant bone is not an easy task. But it can be done. Just like pouring concrete, it takes time, energy, effort, and patience. But the reward of a firm foundation is worth it.