Who is a Candidate for Dental Implants?
Dental implants are an incredibly popular, very successful treatment used to replace missing teeth. This unique treatment involves the use of small titanium posts, which are surgically placed into your jawbone. These posts are then used to provide support for your replacement teeth, holding them securely in place. Implants are an incredible alternative to bridges and dentures, providing you with a long-term solution to tooth loss. At OHIOSmiles, we can help to determine if you are a candidate.
You are Missing Teeth
Implants replace teeth. This treatment is incredibly versatile and can be used in many different tooth loss situations. A single tooth implant can replace an individual tooth. Implants can also be used to replace several missing teeth and even an entire arch of teeth. No matter how many teeth you have lost, or where they are located, implants can be a good option. This treatment may also be discussed if you are not yet missing teeth, but you require a tooth extraction.
Your Health Matters
For implants to be placed, you need to undergo surgery. This procedure involves making incisions in your gums and drilling holes into your jawbone. Before undergoing implant surgery, we first go over your health history. Certain types of conditions, as well as certain medications, can cause complications, both during surgery as well as during recovery. If you have chronic conditions such as heart disease or diabetes, the condition will need to be under control before you can undergo treatment.
In addition to going over your medical history, we also perform a thorough oral exam. We check your mouth for signs of cavities and gum disease. Both of these issues can increase your risk for infections during surgery, so they will need to be treated before implant surgery can be performed.
Lifestyle Habits Can Affect Healing
Alcohol and tobacco use can significantly impact the outcome of your surgery. Excessive alcohol consumption can prevent your blood from clotting properly, which can then contribute to bleeding issues. Tobacco products, such as cigarettes, slow your blood flow and limit blood oxygen levels. These factors slow the delivery of essential nutrients to your gums and jawbone, significantly slowing healing. Tobacco products can also affect your immune system, preventing it from properly responding to bacteria and infections. Your risk for infections and other complications, such as implant failure, increases greatly.
The Condition of Your Jawbone
Your teeth play an integral role in the health of your jawbone. When you chew, your teeth stimulate the bone, letting your body know that nutrients are required. When you suffer tooth loss, your jawbone loses stimulation. As a result, your bone begins to weaken and lose mass. While dental implants can help to put a stop to bone loss, there needs to be enough bone mass remaining. Without it, your jawbone cannot fuse properly to the implant posts. This can result in loose implants and implant failure.
During your initial consultation, we take X-rays of your mouth. These images will allow us to assess the condition of your jawbone. If it is determined your bone is too weak, this does not mean that you cannot receive implants. A bone graft can be performed first. This is an additional surgical procedure that involves transplanting bone mass to the weak areas of your jaw to restore strength. With a bone graft, your jawbone can successfully support your implants.
If you are interested in learning more about dental implants and want to find out if this treatment is the right solution for you, call OHIOSmiles at (740) 781-0540 to schedule your consultation today.