Are You a Candidate for Dental Implants?
Dental implants are a unique and revolutionary treatment for replacing missing teeth, providing an alternative to the traditional treatments of bridges and dentures. Small titanium posts are implanted into the jawbone, and the bone fuses to these posts while you heal. After you have completely healed, the posts are strong and stable and provide support for your replacement teeth. Implants provide numerous benefits over traditional treatments, including greater comfort, ease of care, and the preservation of your jawbone. Dental implants are highly customizable, and can be used to meet a variety of different needs, but how do you know if they are right for you? Scholes Periodontics & Implants is here to help.
You are Missing Teeth
Dental implants are a treatment for replacing missing teeth. Tooth loss is the most basic factor in determining your candidacy. Dental implants can be used for replacing any number of missing teeth, whether you have lost only one or you have lost an entire arch. You also do not need to missing teeth right now to be considered for implants. If you are in need of tooth extraction, implants may be an option to replace the tooth that is removed.
You are in Good Health
The procedure for dental implants requires surgery. To undergo surgery, you need to be in good health. Your health is important for avoiding complications, both during surgery and while you heal. Poor health increases the likelihood of infections and implant failure. Any oral health issues, such as gum disease or cavities, need to be treated before getting implants. Any chronic conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, need to be under control. If you are considered healthy, normally, but suddenly become ill before your scheduled surgery, it is important that you call our office. It may be necessary to reschedule your surgery until after you are feeling better.
You Do Not Smoke
Cigarettes, along with other tobacco products, have numerous negative health impacts. They can also significantly interfere with the ability of your body to heal after surgery. Smoking limits the amount of oxygen in your blood, and it slows down your blood flow. Both of these factors greatly slow down the healing process. The physical act of smoking can also cause clots to become dislodged, resulting in a condition known as dry socket. When the clots are dislodged, this provides direct access for bacteria to get into your gums. It is highly recommended that you quit smoking, and all other tobacco products, before treatment. If you are unable to quit completely, you will need to at least be able to abstain from using any tobacco products for a specified amount of time before treatment throughout your recovery period.
Your Jawbone is in Good Condition
Dental implants integrate into the jawbone in a process known as osseointegration. During this process, the bone fuses to the titanium posts, enabling them to become stable supports for your new teeth. For osseointegration to be successful, you need to have sufficient bone mass remaining in the jaw. However, bone loss begins shortly after you lose your teeth. This is because the teeth stimulate the jawbone. When the teeth are gone, stimulation decreases, resulting in a decrease of nutrients sent to this area. Over time, the jaw begins to grow weak and may become unable to support dental implants.
Bone loss does not necessarily mean that implants are out of the question. If it is determined that you lack sufficient bone mass, a bone graft or treatment such as All-on-4 may be an option. We will discuss all of your options during your consultation.
You are Never Too Old
Many older patients think that they are simply too old for dental implants. It does not matter if you are 30, 60, 80 or older, dental implants can provide the same benefits for you no matter how old you are, so long as you meet other requirements. However, it is possible to be too young. Young jaws are still developing, and continue to do so until the late teen years the to early 20s. If your child or teen has lost a permanent tooth, another option will need to be used until the jaw has finished growing.
Dental implants look, feel and function just like your natural teeth. Moreover, they have the added benefit of protecting the strength and integrity of your jawbone, a benefit no other tooth replacement treatment can offer. To find out if you are a candidate for dental implants, call Scholes Periodontics & Implants today at (602) 900-1609.