Am I a Candidate for a Dental Implant?
When we see patients who are missing one or more teeth, your Shoreline dentist always talks to them about the possibility of using dental implants to replace their natural teeth. Dental implants are a good choice for replacing teeth.
If you're thinking about getting dental implants to fix your teeth, there are a few things you need to do before you can get implants or visit the office of Dr. Eric Yao. Continue reading to learn more.
What are dental implants?
The first thing you need to know about this system is that it uses titanium dental implants to replace the roots of missing teeth. For us to understand more, your Shoreline dentist gives us a great explanation.
It is like a "screw" that is put into the bone where the roots of the teeth used to be. Later, when the ceramic crown is put on top, it takes the place of the dental piece and has the same shape. So, the crown or fake tooth has the same chewing function as a natural tooth and is made to look just like a natural tooth. This helps improve the look of the mouth. Because of this, dental implants are a much better choice than removable dentures or bridges, which are more common treatments.
So far, so good? Now, you need to understand that this "implant" method will be different for each person. Each patient has to be looked at on an individual basis to see if the procedure can be done. Even though it is very rare, not all patients can get an implant.
How and Where Dental Implants are Used
A dental implant is a small titanium screw that is put into the bone of the jaw during surgery. The implant then tries to replace the natural root of the missing tooth, and if only one tooth needs to be replaced, it is topped with a dental crown. When more than one tooth needs to be replaced, a dental bridge or prosthesis can be held in place by several implants.
The best thing about dental implants is that they work well with our bodies. This makes it possible for the implant to fuse with the jawbone and stay in place because new bone cells grow around it. This is called the osseointegration process. Once the place where the implant was put has healed and the implant is well-integrated, we can make and put in the prosthetic part (crown, bridge, or prosthesis). It takes a few months for the implant to be put in and for the body to heal around it.
What needs to happen before an implant can be put in?
Before considering dental implants, your teeth and jawbones should be thoroughly examined and x-rayed. This lets the dentist check and make sure your jawbones are strong enough to hold the implants.
During the consultation at our office, Dr. Yao ensures that the following conditions are met:
● General Health
You need to be in good health all around before you can have surgery to get dental implants. This makes it easier for your body to handle the procedure and heal well afterward. Diabetes that isn't under control and heart disease can be at risk when this kind of surgery is done. As a result, your dentist must monitor your overall health.
● Oral Health
For dental implants to be put in, your gums must be in great shape. Without this, the intervention will likely fail. During the consultation for implantology, the family dentist checks your gums to make sure they are healthy.
● Bone density in the jawbone
Since dental implants are put right into the jawbone, the jawbone must be thick and dense enough for the implant to stay in place. When you lose a tooth and don't replace it right away, the bone gradually gets smaller because the roots of the tooth are no longer there to encourage the bone to grow. If this is the case, your dentist can do either a bone graft or a sinus lift before putting in the implants. These procedures are meant to give your jawbone enough volume to hold the implants.
● Jaw growth
Usually, dental implants can only be put in people whose jaws have stopped growing. Teenagers and some young adults can't get implants because of this.
● Bone growth and maturity
Before getting an implant, the jawbone must also be fully grown. Teenagers and young adults whose bones are still growing may have to wait until they are fully grown before getting implants. Once the implant is put into the jawbone, it is important to give the bone and implant enough time to heal so that they work well together.
Your dental implants will work better if your bite is well-balanced. Patients who are known to clench or grind their teeth (called bruxers) and patients with severely crooked teeth are at risk of damaging their implants and having their treatment fail. As a way to get ready for dental implants, your dentist may suggest preventive dentistry such as a mouth guard or orthodontic treatment.
Why should you get an implant to replace a missing tooth?
Yes, a missing tooth doesn't look good, but we often don't think about what will happen if we don't act quickly. First, the teeth next to the space move to try to fill it. This could make it hard to chew and cause the other teeth to wear out faster. Also, when one or more teeth are lost, the jawbone starts to break down. This makes the face look older than it is. Last, the teeth slowly moved into the space, which made them out of place.
Ask for an implantology appointment now!
An implantology consultation is the best way to find out if you are a good candidate for dental implants. People who are thinking about getting dental implants to replace missing teeth are welcome to consult with our Shoreline dentist. Contact us and our dentist will be happy to provide a dental exam and show you what your options are.