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2 Key Characteristics Of Patients Well Suited For Subperiosteal Dental Implants

Cosmetic dentistry specialists tout dental implants as one of the most natural feeling and looking artificial teeth on the market. The traditional dental implant involves implanting a metal root within the healthy jawbone, which will then heal around that root to secure it in place. If you don't have healthy jawbone, you can undergo a lengthy bone graft – or you might qualify for subperiosteal dental implants.

What are two key characteristics of patients who are well suited for subperiosteal dental implants?

Lessened Jawbone Health but Strong Ridge

If you had a completely healthy jawbone, you would qualify for a traditional dental implant and wouldn't need to consider a subperiosteal implant, so it is assumed that you have at least lessened jawbone health. But you do still need a certain degree of jawbone stability in the ridge in order for the subperiosteal dental implant to stay in place.

The ridge of the jawbone is simply the top where the front and back sides of the jawbone come together. This ridge is where your natural teeth sit. The subperiosteal implant has a metal base that straddles the ridge. Healing gum tissue will grow over the plate to hold the implant base in place before the artificial tooth is snapped on top.

If your jawbone ridge is weakened or worn away, the plate can shift unexpectedly while you chew, which would cause pain and discomfort. You could theoretically undergo a bone graft to build up the ridge but, again, you would then qualify for a traditional dental implant.

Note that bone health deteriorates the longer a natural tooth is missing. If you want a dental implant of any kind, you will want to act as quickly as possible after the tooth loss to make sure that there is enough healthy bone left even to receive a subperiosteal implant.

No Desire to Undergo a Bone Graft

Why wouldn't a patient want to just go through the bone graft to receive the traditional, more stable, and natural feeling implant? Even without the bone graft involved, a traditional dental implant is a lengthy treatment process since the dentist needs to wait on the jawbone to heal around the root.

Adding a bone graft to the procedure will make the treatment time even longer since the two sections of bone – donor and the weakened area where the donor is implanted – need to heal or fuse together before the dental implant process can even begin. Patients who want to keep the treatment period as short as possible might decide against undergoing a bone graft and lean towards a subperiosteal implant.

For more information, contact local professionals like Fayetteville Family Dentistry.