What Happens When Dental Implant Roots Are Angled in the Jaw?

If you have decided to work with your dentist to replace a missing tooth, then you may have decided that a dental implant is best for your situation. You may know by now that dental implantation requires a great deal of preparation before the implant can even be placed in the mouth. In some cases, the dental implant may be scheduled for angled placement. You should know that angled implants have long been used to correct poor initial positioning of the implant root. Some dentists also choose to secure an angled implant at the onset of treatment. Keep reading to learn about several situations where this is likely. 

One of the Front Teeth Must Be Replaced

If one of your upper front teeth is in need of replacement, then your dentist will need to look at CT scans and x-ray imagery to note the location of the sinus cavities. The cavities sit just above the upper jaw ridge and angle down towards the nose. As the sinuses angle downward, the bone ridge becomes thin, and is the thinnest right where the two front teeth sit in the jaw. 

While the upper jaw bone is thick enough to retain the natural tooth roots, dental implants are typically much longer than the natural roots. The length of the implant root can vary significantly based on your oral and general health. Anatomy is also used to determine length. Your dentist may be able to choose an implant that sits just one to two millimeters below your sinus cavities. However, if you have osteoporosis, require a bone graft procedure, or if the bone ridge has significantly degraded over time, then this might not be possible. 

If the longer dental implant is secured in a straight manner, then it may actually pierce the sinus cavities. While sinus lifts can and often are scheduled before implant placement, your dentist may decide to angle the root instead, so it does not come nearly as close to the sinus cavities. 

If you are prone to sinus infections, if you have an allergic rhinitis condition, or if you simply want to skip the added surgery, then angling may be ideal instead of a sinus lift. 

The Facial Nerves Must Be Avoided

One of the possible complications of dental implant surgery is nerve damage. Nerve damage can occur when drilling and dental implant placement causes direct damage to one of the facial nerves. Nerve damage can cause extreme and lingering pain, numbness across the face, and tingling sensations. While some nerve damage situations resolve themselves over time, this is not always the case. You may then need to have your implant removed.

Since nerve damage can be so devastating, your dental professional will locate all of your facial nerves and note their location in relation to your dental implant. Many nerves branch out and sit just above and beneath the jaw bone, so your dentist will need to pay close attention where the majority of these nerves are located. Specifically, the nerves are noted when the implant root is secured somewhere along the middle or front sections of the jaw. 

If your dentist feels that a nerve is close to the implant site, then the root will be angled. Angling will depend on the amount of bone that sits in the region and the socket's proximity to the other dental roots. For example, there may be room to angle the implant towards the back of the mouth if one of the bicuspids needs to be replaced. 

Slight right and left angling may be possible as well, and your dentist will use an abutment or attachment that angles as well so your artificial tooth can sit straight in the mouth, even when the root is angled. 

For more information about angling and dental implants, call dentists' offices like Family Dentistry Of Woodstock.