If you are missing at least one tooth, you aren’t alone. It’s estimated that as many as 125 million Americans are missing at least one tooth. This affects the way that they eat and talk, as well as changes the appearance of their smile. Fortunately, there are more tooth replacement solutions available than ever before, with dental implants being one of the most effective methods for restoring the function and appearance of your smile.
Unlike other tooth loss treatments, dental implants have a totally unique design that sees them anchored permanently into the jawbone, giving them the unrivaled strength and stability for which they are well known. Once in place and with the right care at home and by your dentist, dental implants can last decades, making them an extremely worthwhile investment in your smile.
But how do you know if dental implants are right for you? Let’s find out.
People who are considered good candidates for dental implants generally meet the following criteria.
This means that their teeth are in good condition, with no decay, signs of gum disease, or outstanding dental work. If there are any issues, these should be treated before getting dental implants.
Dental implants require the gum tissue to be healthy since the gums will sit around the implant and provide strength and support. Advanced gum disease can also lead to deterioration of the jawbone – something which could put the viability of dental implants at risk.
Dental implant posts are surgically inserted into the bone of the jaw, which then fuses around it to secure the post in place. If there isn’t enough healthy bone in the jaw, the fusion process (called osseointegration) could fail and cause the implants to come loose. Your jawbone health will be assessed using x-rays prior to starting dental implant treatment.
Smoking is largely considered to be the arch-nemesis of successful dental implants. This is because smoking reduces the amount of oxygen in the bloodstream, making gum disease and decay more likely. If you smoke, you may be refused as a candidate for dental implants.
Getting dental implants is a surgical procedure that requires the use of anesthetic and potentially sedation. Patients should also be in good general health, with no uncontrolled health problems such as diabetes, not being pregnant, and not breastfeeding. Your dental implant provider will ask you about your medical history as part of your consultation to assess whether or not you are a good candidate for dental implants.
There are some medications, such as steroids and drugs that suppress the immune system, that may mean that someone isn’t a good candidate for dental implants.
Although dental implants themselves can’t become decayed, they still need to be brushed and flossed just like regular teeth. That’s because plaque can build up on them and cause gum disease to develop, putting them and your natural teeth at risk. Your dental implant provider will want to ensure that you are prepared to commit to a lifetime of proper brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits to maintain your dental implants and your oral health for as long as possible.
If you would like to find out if you are a good candidate for dental implants, please contact our knowledgeable dentistry team at River Valley Dental in Tremonton, Utah by calling 435.257.7344.