Have you lost a tooth or are you going to have to lose one in the future? Do you wish you could have a new tooth that looks and works like a beautiful, natural tooth? That’s what dental implants are: replacement teeth that look and function just like your lost tooth. Or it can look and function better, if that’s been a problem tooth. Best of all: most people can get dental implants.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are the best tooth replacement option because they:
- Look like natural teeth
- Let you bite and chew like natural teeth
- Don’t slip or fall out of mouth
- Help you speak clearly
- Don’t require special care
- Can last a lifetime with proper care
Dental implants look like natural teeth because they are structured like natural teeth: they have a root anchored in your jawbone, topped by an attractive dental crown that looks natural. Because the root is anchored in your jaw, similar to natural teeth, it lets you bite and chew like normal. And it won’t slip or fall out of your mouth. Plus, it helps you speak clearly because it’s securely attached.
Dental implants don’t require special care. You treat them just like natural teeth: brush, floss, and see your dentist regularly. If you take good care of them, they can last a lifetime.
Am I a Candidate for Dental Implants?
Most people can get dental implants. To be a candidate for dental implants, you must be:
- Missing one or more teeth
- An adult whose jaw has stopped growing
- Healthy enough for surgery
If you meet these three criteria, you can get dental implants. We might ask that your doctor clear you for surgery.
However, there are many factors that can impact the success or procedure for your dental implants. This includes:
- Low bone volume or density in the jaw
- Current gum disease
- Prior radiation therapy
- Commitment to care
If your jawbone isn’t very dense or doesn’t have enough volume, we may have to do a bone graft procedure before we place your dental implants. And if you have gum disease, we might have to treat your gum disease first. This depends on how serious your gum disease is. Minor gum disease might be treated after we place the implant.
Smoking, radiation therapy, and some medications can increase your risk of implant failure or complications.
We will talk to you about your medical history before scheduling your implant procedure. We will also talk to you about care routines–proper care of your implants can make all the difference for your success and durability.