Dental implants are becoming a very popular choice for replacing missing teeth. Many patients ask about implants because they are known to look and feel the most like natural teeth. Any person could need to replace a missing tooth or teeth for a variety of reasons. You may not have kept up on your oral hygiene…
Ask a Dentist: Am I a Candidate for Dental Implants?
If you are missing at least one or more teeth, you may qualify as a candidate for dental implants. Dental implants are the best option for replacing missing teeth. Having missing teeth can harm your oral health, and untreated tooth loss can interrupt your chewing ability and even affect the structure of your mouth. If you are unsure if you are a suitable candidate, let's look at the requirements.
5 things to look for in a good implant candidate
As a general rule, some characteristics make a person a good candidate for dental implants. Here are some of those factors:
- Good oral health. Gums and teeth should be in good oral health
- Good bone density. You should have a strong bone density to support the dental implants
- Good oral hygiene. You should have a good regimen of good oral hygiene
- Nonsmoker or quitting smoking
- Having patience to trust the process. The process from start to finish can take up to 12 months to be fully healed
Why do you have missing teeth?
Your dentist or oral surgeon will want to learn more about why your teeth are missing. If your gums show signs of gum disease, this may disqualify you for implant placement until it is healed. If you do not have good oral hygiene habits such as brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash at least two times daily, this may disqualify you.
Jaw and bone health is important
Having good bone density and support is important for being a good candidate for dental implants. Having a good bone structure can help to support the implant once it is placed. If the implant is not supported or reinforced by a strong bone structure, it can become loose over time just from chewing.
Multiple implant placements
When you must have multiple implants placed, your dentist may discuss further options with you should as implanted supported bridges. These bridges can help support and preserve the bone in your mouth because they will replace the natural tooth roots. They fuse with the jawbone, which can help to keep your jaw's natural bone structure intact and healthy.
When you have several teeth missing, you do not have to get individual implants placed. This is where the dental bridge comes in handy. IT helps to fill in the tooth gaps by using a bridge across the implants. This can help to improve chewing and your smile with fewer implants. It's cost-effective and secure.
Basics of a dental implant
Dental implants are titanium screws that are inserted into your jawbone to help replace a missing tooth root. It's not a complicated process. It will require many months to heal after the procedure and begin to bond with the bone in your jaw. After it is healed, a smaller metal post called an abutment would be connected to the implant. This will allow the implant to help hold any replacement teeth securely.
Now that you understand the basics of dental implants and what qualifies you as a good candidate for them, it may be time to consider this option for replacement teeth.
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