Receding Gums: Are dental implants still an option?

On the path to dental implants, receding gums are not necessarily a roadblock; they are more like a speed bump. In other words, dental implants are still an option even when your gums and bone are not in the most ideal state of health. Instead, your treatment plan may include one or more additional dental surgery procedures to improve your oral health prior to, or in addition to the placement of your new dental implants.

The primary (in fact, the only) source of support for the artificial root portion of your new tooth is the combined architecture of the jawbone and the gum tissue. Implants are not typically connected to other teeth for stability, making their relationship with the tissues at the site of the missing teeth vitally important. 

On the path to dental implants, receding gums are not necessarily a roadblock; they are more like a speed bump.

In a healthy mouth, a combination of dense bone and microscopic connective tissues are covered by a layer of firm gingival (gum) tissue. As the gums recede (pull away) from the teeth, or when the gumline drops down too low, the bone begins to recede as well. Wherever the gums are absent, the bone is absent as well.

In order to provide you with the strongest and healthiest dental implants, your periodontist will need to insert the implant posts into thick and plentiful bone that is covered with healthy gum tissue. Where these conditions do not exist, modern surgical procedures may be employed to create them.

Grafting procedures are the solution of choice for building up inadequate bone tissue and gum tissue. Human or artificial tissues can be surgically positioned at the exact location of the missing tooth to create a reinforced support network for your implant tooth. The grafting procedure may be performed several months before your implant is to be placed, or it may be completed in a combined surgical procedure that also includes your implants.

If your periodontist predicts that receding gums will impact the success of your dental implants, the details of the grafting procedure will be discussed in depth during your initial treatment consultation.

Learn more about your options by calling the office of Dr. Beth Tomlin at 214-949-1836 to schedule an appointment today.

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