There are several dental procedures you can undergo to replace missing teeth, read on to find out if dental implants are the right option for you.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Whether you were born without a tooth or lost one or more teeth due to decay, gum disease, or injury, you don’t have to suffer. Dental implants are a step up from removable dentures, as you don’t need to take them out at night. They remain implanted into your jawbone and function just like a normal tooth. Despite these benefits, there are some factors that you need to take into consideration in order to determine whether this is the right option for you.
It is important to have sufficient bone density to support your dental implants. Unfortunately you can suffer bone loss due to lack of chewing stimulation, denture use, gum disease, aging or injury. However if you don’t have the right volume of bone, there are ways to rebuild it. Procedures such as bone graft, ridge expansion and sinus lift can be performed to increase bone volume. However if you have poorly controlled diabetes or are undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy you will need to consult your doctor about the possibility of dental implants first.
You need to have healthy gum tissues, so that your dental implants will successfully stay in place. If you have untreated tooth decay or gum disease, there is a danger of infection developing around the implant, which will cause it to fail.
If you have a medical condition you will need to consult your dentist about it, as certain conditions will deem you unsuitable for dental implants. Some of these include blood clotting disorders, uncontrolled diabetes, cancer, immune system problems and drug abuse.
Young people under the age of 18 will have bone tissue that is not fully developed and their jaw will still be growing. Due to these reasons, it is advised that they wait until they are an adult and their growth is complete. Once you are an adult, there is no upper age limit to having dental implants. You just need to demonstrate that you are healthy and can undergo a routine dental procedure.
Heavy smoking can severely affect the healing process and cause dental implants to fail. This is because it can deteriorate the long term health of gum and bone surrounding the implant. If you smoke, the best thing you can do is quit. However, if you don’t want to fully give up smoking, it is advised that you stop smoking at least one week before having dental implants fitted, and continue to not smoke for two weeks afterwards.
The Dental Implant Procedure
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root which replaces the root of a natural tooth. The implant is usually made out of titanium and inserted into the jaw. After the initial dental implant surgery, a dentist will wait three to six months for the bone to fully heal. After the implant has fused with the bone, a post called an abutment is placed into the gum, which attaches to the implant. Once the gum has had time to heal, the dental crown is attached and cemented over the abutment. Then it is down to you to maintain good oral hygiene in order to successfully look after your dental implant.
Dental implants have a high success rate, and work about 90% of the time. However there are occurrences of implants failing, so this is one of the factors you need to consider when deciding if they are right for you. During a dental implant procedure, the implant is placed into the jawbone, and it usually attaches itself to the bone. Sometimes there are issues with the implant not joining the bone properly, due to infection, poor placement or underlying health conditions. To help prevent the implant failing, you can maintain a high hygiene level, and regularly visit the dentist for aftercare.
Timeframe of Implants
Dental implants don’t have a lifetime guarantee, but they are known to last for many years. In some cases, if they are very well maintained, they could even last for the rest of your life.