Dental implants are currently the gold-standard treatment for missing teeth. They’re essentially a new lease on life, offering you the chance to complete your smile and restore your ability to eat and talk as you normally would. But it’s also no secret that getting dental implants is a long, sometimes tedious journey.
One of the longest parts of the entire dental implant procedure is osseointegration. When successful, the result is a stable foundation for your replacement tooth. But when it isn’t, you are likely headed into implant failure. Needless to say, osseointegration is a crucial step in your tooth replacement journey, one that can make or break it.
But what exactly is osseointegration? You’ve likely heard your periodontist in Mississauga talk about it. Now, it’s time to learn all about this process and find out how they set up your dental implants for success.
What is osseointegration?
The term osseointegration can sound incredibly complex, but don’t be intimidated by it. In the simplest terms, osseointegration is the process where the implant fuses with the jawbone, essentially allowing the bone to heal around it and become part of it.
Remember: What is a dental implant and how does it work?
Recall that when you get a dental implant, your periodontist has explained that it isn’t the artificial tooth sitting on top of your gums, designed to replace your missing one.
Rather, a dental implant is a titanium post that is placed in your jawbone. It replaces the root of your missing tooth and anchors the replacement in place. As a result, your new tooth has a solid foundation, giving it the strength to help you bite, chew, and talk as you previously did.
Why Osseointegration Matters
In order to provide you with that solid foundation, successful osseointegration must occur. During this process, the jawbone grows around the implant and heals, allowing it to fuse with the jawbone. If this healing process is disrupted and osseointegration isn’t successful, implant failure can occur. The dental implant won’t be stable and it won’t be able to secure the tooth restoration.
How long does osseointegration take?
Osseointegration is the crucial step in the dental implant treatment, taking place between the implantation and attachment of your replacement tooth. Since it involves the healing of the jawbone and determines whether the implant successfully attaches to the jawbone, it is a particularly delicate phase of the dental implant process.
Osseointegration typically takes a few or several months to complete. During this time, it is important that the implant and jawbone can heal properly. Your periodontist will monitor the progress and advise you when healing is complete, so you can safely proceed to the next step of the dental implant procedure.
Factors that Ensure Successful Osseointegration
Prior to undergoing dental implant surgery, your periodontist in Mississauga will look at a number of factors to ensure that you are a good candidate for this tooth replacement method. There are a number of indicators that help your periodontist determine whether osseointegration can succeed, such as:
- Preparing the implant surface
Do you know what makes dental implants really special? Not only are they typically made of titanium, a material that can fuse with bone, surface oxide of but their surface is made of titanium oxide which helps the mineralizing bone matrix attach to the implant.
To increase the chances that the bone will fuse with the implant, your periodontist can also cover the surface of the implant with proteins from your blood as well as other biomaterials such as hydroxyapatite, which can help prevent your body from rejecting this foreign object. Lastly, your periodontist will also roughen the surface of the implant through sand blasting in order to increase the surface area for the bone to fuse with.
- Volume, type, and quality of the bone
During your consultation, your periodontist will examine your jawbone to determine whether it’s in good shape for a dental implant. They will check for two main factors:
- Bone volume: Your periodontist will check if you have enough bone volume or density in the jaws for an implant. In addition to accommodating the implant, they will also need to make sure that there is enough bone between it and the rest of your facial anatomy such as the maxillary sinus floor and the inferior dental canal.
- Bone quality: Next, your periodontist will also check the quality of your jawbone to confirm if it has sufficient nutrients. These nutrients should be transported through the blood supply. If blood flow is reduced, osseointegration may not occur, which can cause the implant to fail.
- Treatment plan
And most importantly, your periodontist in Mississauga will develop a comprehensive treatment plan to ensure that you are a good candidate for dental implants and that one of the most crucial parts of the process, osseointegration, can occur.
When planning your dental implant surgery, your periodontist’s primary goal is to preserve the quality of your jawbone, especially its density. This helps promote osseointegration and keep soft tissues healthy, and of course, restore the appearance of your smile as a result of dental implants.
Ask Our Periodontists in Mississauga About Dental Implant Care During Osseointegration
Osseointegration is a crucial phase of the entire dental implant procedure—it’s essentially the make-or-break part that determines whether tooth replacement can proceed and succeed.
This is why our periodontists in Mississauga advise proper care and extreme caution during this period to ensure uninterrupted healing and successful fusion of the jawbone with the implant. With regular follow-ups that include tracking the progression of the osseointegration, our periodontists can make sure that your dental implant heals properly, so you can safely proceed with replacing your missing teeth.