Are You a Candidate for Dental Implants?
Dental implants are a modern alternative to traditional tooth replacement treatments. This revolutionary treatment involves the surgical implantation of small titanium posts into your jawbone. Your bone then gradually fuses to the posts as you heal, integrating them into the bone. Once you have fully healed, the implants become stable, immovable roots that are used to support your replacement crowns. Implants, while a fairly recent treatment, have quickly become the most popular option when it comes to replacing missing teeth. Not only do they restore the functions of your missing teeth and your smile, but they also work to stop the bone loss that comes after tooth loss, preserving the shape and integrity of your jaw. Dental implants can be used to treat a variety of different tooth loss needs, and Clackamas Implant & Oral Surgery Center can help you to determine if they are the right solution for you.
You Have Suffered Tooth Loss
Tooth loss can happen for a variety of different reasons. You may lose teeth from gum disease, facial trauma, or conditions like bruxism. You may lose one tooth, or you may lose all of them. Dental implants are designed to replace missing teeth, whatever your reason for tooth loss, and no matter how many teeth you have lost. This is the most basic factor in determining your candidacy. Dental implants may also be discussed even if you currently have all of your teeth, but you need to have one or more teeth extracted.
How Old are You?
You are never too old to enjoy the benefits of dental implants. Whether you are in your mid-30s, your late 60s, in your 80s or older, the benefits of dental implants are the still the same. Many older patients tend to think that they are simply too old for dental implants, but the truth is that, so long as you meet other requirements, you can benefit from dental implants regardless of how old you are. However, patients can be too young. Because the jaw does not stop developing until the late teens the to early 20s, individuals who have lost a permanent tooth before the jaw stops developing will require alternative treatment. Once the jaw is done growing, then implants can be discussed.
Your Overall Health is Good
Dental implants require a surgical procedure. To undergo surgery, you need to be in good overall health. This includes your oral health as well. If you have any conditions in your mouth, such as cavities or gum disease, these issues will need to be treated first. Any medical conditions such as diabetes or hypertension will need to be under control. Being in good health is essential for lowering your risk for complications during your surgery as well as during your recovery.
You Do Not Smoke, or You are Willing to Quit
Smoking cigarettes, or using any other tobacco products, is harmful to your health in general. However, these habits can be especially dangerous during the recovery period following implant surgery. When you smoke, the oxygen levels in your blood are lower. Smoking also slows your blood flow, which reduces the delivery of essential nutrients to the surgical sites. This increases the time needed for healing, which heightens your risk of developing an infection. Additionally, the act of smoking can dislodge clots at surgical sites, leaving open wounds for bacteria and debris to collect. If you are interested in dental implants, and you are a smoker, it is highly recommended that you quit. If you cannot quit for good, you must be willing to commit to abstaining from smoking until after you have healed from surgery.
Your Jawbone is Sufficiently Strong
For dental implants to be successful, they have to integrate into your jawbone. This means that there needs to be sufficient bone mass available to fuse to the posts. Without it, implants may not fully integrate, leaving them loose and wobbly, or they may not integrate at all. If you have lost too much bone mass to support implants, this does not mean they are not an option. Implants can still be possible with a bone graft, a surgical procedure that restores missing bone mass to your jaw, making it strong enough to support implants. If you are missing an entire arch of teeth, you may be a candidate for the All-on-4® treatment concept, a dental implant treatment that involves the strategic placement of 4 implants without first requiring a bone graft. A thorough oral exam, complete with digital X-rays, will help us to determine the best treatment for your specific needs.
With dental implants, not only do you get back the functions of your missing teeth and the quality of your smile, but you also get your quality of life back. If you are missing teeth and want to know if dental implants are right for you, call Clackamas Implant & Oral Surgery Center to schedule your consultation today.