Losing a tooth used to mean losing some degree of your appearance and chewing function. Losing multiple teeth could mean losing some confidence and some of your speaking ability. Fortunately, dental technologies have improved enough that tooth loss no longer has to mean losing anything at all. Here in our office near Little Rock, you can reclaim the very best about your smile via dental implant treatment.
Dr. Samuel Jirik has received extensive training in the use of dental implants for tooth replacement. We’re proud to offer pterygoid implants for patients with special circumstances. To learn more about what dental implants could do for you, contact our office at 501-843-9561.
What are Pterygoid Implants?
Pterygoid implants are special dental implants that may be ideal if you have suffered significant shrinkage of the bone across your upper jaw. When you lose a tooth or teeth, the jawbone in the area loses the vibration from chewing that stimulates jawbone regeneration. As a result, the bone gradually decreases in density; it shrinks. This shrinkage can make it very difficult for a standard dental implant to properly integrate into the jawbone. There simply isn’t enough strong bone tissue to fuse to the implant post.
What Is The Process of the Pterygoid Implant Procedure?
The pterygoid implant is an alternative to the traditional implant. This post is inserted at a 45-degree angle into the medial pterygoid plate, a bone situated above the upper mandible. This type of insertion offers a number of advantages if you lack sufficient bone structure in this area.
What Are the Benefits of Pterygoid Implants?
Pterygoid dental implants offer several significant advantages in the circumstance of poor bone structure in the upper jaw. These include:
- Eliminating the need for sinus augmentation. When the only option was to use traditional dental implant techniques, those with insufficient upper jawbone density may have needed sinus augmentation as a preparatory step for dental implant treatment. Because the pterygoid implant is inserted into a different bone, this step isn’t necessary.
- Avoiding bone grafting. Bone grafting is also a common procedure that is done to augment bone structure when shrinkage has occurred. This process can take months before the dental implant can be placed. This can also be avoided because the pterygoid implant isn’t inserted into the jawbone.
- Can be combined with other types of dental implants. Being a good candidate for one or more pterygoid implants doesn’t mean that’s all you qualify for. If your case might involve more significant tooth replacement, Dr. Jirik may recommend combining pterygoid implants with traditional implants in areas of the jaw where sufficient bone is present.
- Pterygoid implants have a success rate higher than 95 percent.
Who Can Be a Candidate for Pterygoid Implants?
Pterygoid Implants are ideal for candidates who have lost a tooth or several teeth but still have healthy gums. They may not be the most ideal for young children whose jawbones are still in the process of growing. We advise that patients have enough bone in their jaw to support and anchor the implants. If you have lost bone in your jaw, you may still be a great candidate for implates. Dr. Jirik and the team will be sure to inform each patient of the reasoning and details behind their potential candidacy.
Are Pterygoid Implants Permanent?
Dental implants as a whole are intended to become permanent fixtures in your jawbone. The pterygoid implant is no different. The key to permanence is that the implant becomes encased in the bone where it is placed. Whether that is the jawbone or the pterygoid plate is irrelevant. Provided that you take good care of your gums and general health, you can expect your dental implants to last forever!
How Do I Care for My Dental Implants?
One of the many benefits of dental implants is that they do not require special care. Dr. Jirik or your hygienist will discuss with you the best ways to care for your oral health after you receive dental implants. Generally, this involves brushing twice a day, gum care as is relevant to your case, and routine dental exams and cleanings.