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FAQ:  Bone Grafts

Too Much Bone Loss Poll (New)
Guided Tissue Regeneration - GTR
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Denture Partials cause Bone Loss
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Video:
Tunnel Grafts: Regrowing NEW Gum Tissue
Autogenous Bone Harvesting
The Importance of Bone Grafts
Jawbone Graft - The Procedure
Pictures: Graft Results


Question:
Rapid bone loss around titanium implant: After a litle more than a year after an implant, I experienced jaw bone loss around a titanium implant.

The top two threads of the implant are now exposed.

I have taken penicillin for infection around this implant and am just now finishing this as of yesterday.

What are the possible options? I have had 3 teeth pulled including one at this implant site due to gingivitis and bone loss. It is lower tooth 2nd from back. I have also had implants on top two front teeth put in 10 months ago.

I am starting to get concerned about my bone getting too close to the nerve or root on the sides of this implant. I am also now concerned about the two implants on my front top, should similar rapid bone loss occur. ...Visitor from OR

Answer:
Bone loss around implants is not a good sign of anything.

Like most other dental events... there is a "cause" for nearly everything that happens. Determining the cause can be difficult in general terms and even more difficult for implant dentists and surgeons who lack experience or possess the instrumentation that helps to determine cause.

One of the common causes of infection at an implant site is poor or inadequate "health maintenance" of the area. Bacteria can accumulate around an implant just like it does with a normal tooth.

Once bacteria leeches into the implant site..... infection can destroy soft tissues, bone tissues and obliterate what was achieved during the osseointegration process when the implant was first healing after placement.

If you are not using water irrigation devices like the WaterPik or HydroFloss... look into getting one soon.

Most, if not many, implant doctors recommend the use of this type of instrument as an alternative to manual flossing. It is non abrasive and does a great job of keep things squeaky clean... and free of bacteria.... which is the nemesis of implants in general.

Many implant dentists and implant periodontists would probably recommend removing the implant, removing the resorbing (disappearing) bone graft material and starting all over.

It is unknown if "additive" bone grafts would be successful.

If the infection is related to your gum disease treatment, there might be the possibility that the gingivitis wasn't fully arrested or controlled.

Your comment about gum tissue and/or bone loss occuring at the sides of your other implants further suggest events that are causing resorption.

If your dentist or surgeon is at a loss to explain, explicitly, what is going on, try to get some consults with an implant periodontist. If you can find one who has a cone beam CTscan.... that would be even better. Skilled users of 3D imaging are very adept at "detecting" infectious processes.

Periodontal tunneling may be a procedure you can benefit from. Usually, the best resources for this treatment are periodontists. A video of this procedure is on this website.

The "best" treatment or different options for you can't be determined until the cause of the resorption is known.

Editorial Staff

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