Who Is a Candidate for Dental Implants?
Dental implants are a treatment provided for replacing missing teeth. Implants are a unique treatment that use small titanium posts to support replacement teeth. Placing dental implants requires surgery. Small holes are drilled into your jawbone, and the posts are placed inside. As you heal, your bone gradually fuses to the posts in a natural process called osseointegration. This process stabilizes the posts in your jaw, essentially turning them into replacement roots. Your replacement crowns are then secured into place on the posts with small screws. Implants can be used to meet some different needs, but your candidacy needs to be determined before you can undergo treatment. Pacific Modern Dentistry is here to help.
Are You Missing a Tooth?
Dental implants are a treatment used to replace missing teeth. Ceramic crowns are supported by small titanium posts that are surgically implanted into your jawbone. Implants are incredibly versatile as well. They can be used to replace a single tooth, a few consecutive missing teeth, or even an entire arch. Implants may also be discussed as a replacement option if you are not yet missing a tooth, but you are in need of tooth extraction.
Do You Use Tobacco or Drink?
If you smoke, chew tobacco, or drink, these habits can affect how your body heals following surgery. Drinking alcohol can affect the ability of your blood to form clots properly, which can lead to bleeding issues. If you use tobacco products, your healing ability is significantly slowed. Tobacco products slow blood flow and can limit oxygen in your blood. This affects the delivery of nutrients to your gums and jawbone.
When your healing is slowed, your risk of infection increases. Smoking can also lead to a condition known as dry socket, in which blood clots become dislodged. When this happens, bacteria have direct access into your gums. It is highly recommended that you quit both tobacco and alcohol use before undergoing implant surgery.
Are You in Good General Health?
Your overall health is a major consideration in your candidacy for dental implants. Oral health issues such as gum disease will need to be treated before implant surgery. Otherwise, you may be faced with complications both during surgery as well as during your recovery period. Chronic health conditions, such as diabetes, can also cause issues during surgery as well as during recovery. These issues will not prevent you from receiving dental implants, but you will need to have the condition under control before placement.
How Much Bone Mass Have You Lost?
Implants rely on the proper fusion of your jawbone to the posts for stability and success. While implants can help to stop bone loss in your jaw, you first need to have enough bone mass to provide adequate support. Without enough bone mass, your jawbone will not be able to fuse properly, which can lead to unstable restorations and possible implant failure. If you don't have enough bone mass, you may be able to build it back up with a bone graft.
Does Age Matter?
Many older patients tend to get stuck believing that they can only receive traditional tooth replacement treatments following tooth loss. The truth, however, is that you are never too old for dental implants. So long as you meet other requirements, you can receive implants well into your senior years, allowing you to enjoy the full benefits of what this incredible treatment has to offer.
Dental implants provide several incredible benefits over traditional replacement options. One of the major benefits is that they can stop and prevent bone loss in your jaw, a benefit no other treatment option can offer. Call Pacific Modern Dentistry at (206)284-4505 to schedule your consultation today and find out if dental implants are the right choice for you.