Who is a Candidate for Dental Implants?
Dental implants are the most recent option available for replacement of missing teeth. They have also become the top preferred method. Despite requiring a surgical procedure, implants offer a whole host of benefits. They restore your beautiful smile. They restore the functions of your mouth. They are much more comfortable, with your teeth supported on the implants rather than your gums. They are permanent and easy to care for. Quite possibly the biggest benefit, however, is that they preserve the strength of your jawbone, preventing the bone loss that typically follows tooth loss. At National Dental Melville, we can help you determine if implants are the best course of action for you.
Have You Lost Teeth?Implants are designed to replace missing teeth. The most obvious requirement for dental implants is that you are missing teeth. Tooth loss can happen due to many different causes. Gum disease is the most common. Other causes include tooth decay and facial trauma. Implants can be used to replace any number of missing teeth. Implants may also be discussed if you are not missing teeth yet, but you have an extraction planned.
How Old Are You?A lot of older adults think that they are too old for dental implants, so they never bother to ask about them. You are never too old for implants, provided you meet the other requirements. You can, however, be too young. Sometimes, children and teens lose a permanent tooth (usually the result of a sports injury). The jaw of a child is still growing and developing. This continues until the late teens. Placing an implant in an underdeveloped jaw can lead to serious issues. If your child has lost a permanent tooth, other options will need to be explored. When their jaw has stopped developing, then an implant can be discussed as a possible option.
Are You Healthy?Implants require a surgical procedure, and a lengthy recovery period (several weeks to several months depending upon the number placed). To get implants, you must be in good overall health. If you have gum disease, the issue must be treated first. If you have a condition like diabetes, your blood sugar must be well controlled. If you are feeling ill before your scheduled surgery, it is important to call, as it may be necessary to postpone the procedure. Being healthy is integral to healing properly and avoiding infections.
Do You Smoke?You have probably heard time and again how smoking affects the health of your lungs and your overall health. It can also significantly slow your ability to heal. Smoking restricts the amount of oxygen in your blood and slows your blood flow. This prevents essential nutrients from reaching your gums. It can also cause dry socket. This is when the clot at the surgical site becomes dislodged, leaving the wound open to bacteria. All of these factors can greatly increase your risk for infections and implant failure. It is important that you quit smoking for a time before your surgery, as well as during your healing. It is recommended that you quit for good.
What is the Condition of Your Jawbone?As you heal, your jawbone fuses to the implants, which turns the implants into “roots” that support your replacement teeth. For them to be strong and stable, you must have sufficient bone mass to begin with. If you lack sufficient bone mass, you will either need a bone graft, or you may be a candidate for the All-on-4® treatment concept dental implants. All of your options will be discussed with you during your consultation.
Learn more about dental implants:
To find out if you are a candidate for dental implants, call National Dental Melville today at (631) 816-2277!