If you lost teeth many years ago, you may wonder if it's too late to get dental implants. It's never too late to replace your missing teeth with dental implants. However, you'll need to rebuild any bone tissue you lost in your upper or lower jawbone over the years. You can rebuild the bones in your jaw with jaw augmentation and the proper diet. Here's how and what you do.
See a Dental Implant Dentist
The first step to getting your new dental implants is to see a dentist. A dentist can evaluate your upper and lower jawbones to see how much bone tissue they lost over the years. Once you lose a tooth, the bone tissue in its socket absorbs back into the jaw. The socket no longer needs the tissue to support a tooth. Your jaw loses up to 25 percent of its width, height, and strength within the first year. Bone augmentation, or bone grafting, can replace or rebuild the loss bone tissue.
An implant dentist offers several types of bone augmentation treatments to patients, including autografting. During an autograft procedure, a dentist removes small amounts of bone tissue or cells from different areas of your body, including the very back of your jaw. A dentist places the grafting material directly inside the empty sockets in your jaw. The material gradually bonds with your natural bone tissue until it becomes healthy and stable.
The bonding time may vary for each type of grafting procedure, but most treatments take several months to complete. You'll see dental provider regularly during the bonding process. The appointments allow a dentist to note your progress and to plan the rest of your treatment.
You can also encourage your jaw to grow new tissue by eating a healthier diet.
Get More Bone Building Nutrients
Eating a diet rich in calcium, vitamin D, phosphorus, and other necessary nutrients can strengthen your upper and lower jawbones. You can find these nutrients in sugar-free yogurt and bananas. Vitamin-fortified natural juices, such as orange and mango, may also be good sources for you.
If you can't select the best foods for your diet, consult directly with an implant dentist. Some dentists provide detailed lists of items to eat during the bonding process. Your overall health state and age may also come into play during your treatment. A number of patients experience osteoporosis and other bone conditions as they age. You may need more nutrients in your diet than other patients.
If you have additional questions about bone augmentation or dental implants, contact a dentist for more details today.