For several decades, bridges and dentures were the popular option for replacing missing teeth. While these can be great options in some situations, they weren’t ideal for every patient. Today, dental implants are one of the leading options to tooth replacement. Dental implants involve a dental implant screw that is surgically placed into your jaw bone. After healing, an abutment or crown will be attached to the screw so that your tooth has restored functions such as chewing.
Why Are Dental Implants A Unique Option?
Dental implants offer many perks when it comes to tooth replacement. They restore chewing function and esthetics to your mouth as do bridges and dentures, but implants do so much more!
Dental implants help to keep your jaw bone from shrinking. Since the implant is surgically placed into the jaw bone, it helps to maintain bone just by being there. This is important for your other teeth and surrounding gum tissue because it helps to keep things from shifting and moving around.
Dental implants also offer the most natural looking restoration. This is due to them preserving bone and gum tissue around the implant.
Dental implants also offer great longevity. It is possible for the teeth that support a dental bridge to decay. If this happens the entire bridge must be redone. Since an implant is made up of artificial materials, there is no way that an implant can decay. Thus, a dental implant can last a lifetime. However, It is important to keep an implant clean. Not caring for an implant could lead to problems with gum disease further down the road. Gum disease can affect the stability and prognosis of an implant, so these homecare tips should be followed:
- Brush implant twice a day, making sure to clean along the gumline
- Floss around implant once a day to remove any food debris or bacteria
- Avoid using abrasive dental products
- Schedule routine visits to the dentist so that they can check your implant
Can I Get An Implant?
Prior to receiving an implant, you often must qualify for one. Your dentist will likely do an evaluation involving medical history updates and a dental exam. Special assessments are usually done to determine if your jaw bone will support a dental implant. All these things help your dentist to be able to determine if you are a good candidate for an implant. There are a few criterion that are important to the success of the implant so your dentist will likely be evaluating for these things:
- Good overall health: Prior to receiving any surgery, it is a good idea to make sure your immune system and overall health are functioning well. Recovery goes much better when you aren’t under the weather with sickness or when your immune system isn’t weak.
- No untreated infections: It is important that you don’t have untreated infections because having a dental implant procedure done is like having a surgery. Infections can travel throughout the body and you wouldn’t want it causing problems with your implant.
- Good bone support: Good bone support is important because your implant will be surgically placed into your jaw bone. The bone surrounding the implant will heal around the implant and provide necessary support. Without adequate bone support, the implant will likely fail.
Interested in learning more about implants or knowing whether or not you are a candidate? Call our office or schedule an appointment to talk with our highly trained dental team about dental implants. They can help get answers to your questions and also get you started on your tooth replacement journey.