Are you currently suffering due to lost or severely damaged teeth?
The effects of missing teeth go much deeper than just your smile. Your overall oral health pays a considerable price, as does the shape of your face, your ability to eat, even your ability to speak are all impacted by teeth that are missing.
At Marineland Dental Care, our practice in Kennewick, WA, we offer dental implants. Dental implants are a permanent solution to the problems that missing teeth present, and are far superior to other restorations.
In our last post, we discussed the advantages of dental implants over other methods for replacing missing teeth, or repairing the damage caused by missing teeth (dentures and bridges). Dental implants are your best option when it comes to teeth that are missing.
However, not everyone is a good candidate for dental implants. In this second post of a three-part series “Understanding Dental Implants”, we’ll discuss what makes a patient a good dental implant candidate, and what does not.
If you have missing teeth and you’re considering dental implants as an option, this will help you determine if dental implants are a good fit for you as a solution.
Am I a candidate?
By candidate we mean that your oral health is in good enough shape to undergo a specific procedure.
If you are interested in dental implants to replace missing teeth, you must be:
In good oral health:
Losing your teeth can be the result of an accident, but in most cases, teeth are lost due to gum disease (learn more about gum disease here). Depending on how far it has advanced, gum disease may be reversed at home through a rigorous oral hygiene routine (brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash at least twice daily) and a deep cleaning from your dentist; more advanced gum disease will need more involved treatment. If you have gum disease and missing teeth, we’ll need to address that before attempting an installation of a dental implant.
Dental implants require that your jawbone is strong enough to support them. Missing teeth often means that the bone density of your jaw has been degraded. If this is the case, you may need a jawbone graft. A jawbone graft is a surgical procedure in which the missing or degraded jawbone is replaced by your own bone from somewhere else in your body (in some cases though a donor may supply your graft). You may also need a sinus lift, another surgical procedure in which the upper jaw is reconstructed and the sinuses are moved, enabling the area to support dental implants.
Able to accept anesthesia:
Because dental implants are placed surgically, anesthesia is required. If you aren’t able to accept anesthesia (“go under”), for whatever reason, you may not be able to get dental implants.
In Good General Health:
Autoimmune disorders, arthritis, high blood pressure, and diabetes are all possible sources for complications related to dental implants. Having one of these conditions doesn’t necessarily rule you out as a candidate, but you should inform your dentist about any serious medical conditions so that they will be taken into account. While dental implants are certainly the best bet for repairing missing teeth, if they are a threat to your overall health or even just your oral health, you might want to consider other alternatives.
The bones of children and teenagers are still growing and developing. That means a dental implant that is installed in a young person’s mouth (hypothetically speaking) would be extremely likely to fail.
Being a smoker won’t automatically disqualify you as a candidate for dental implants, but smoking does negatively impact your body’s ability to heal following surgery (or otherwise). Smoking also is a major contributor to a number of chronic oral health problems, including gum disease and bruxism (teeth grinding), both of which are capable of doing considerable damage to the bones and tissues that are needed for a successful implant.
How can Marineland Dental Care help?
Your dentist and the whole team at Marineland Dental Care can provide you with a solution for missing teeth, including dental implants but also bridges and dentures (if a dental implant won’t work for you).
Marineland Dental Care offers:
- Dental Implants
- Dentures with Dental Implants
- Mini Dental Implants
In addition, Marineland Dental Care provides cosmetic dentistry and general dentistry procedures to get you your brightest, best-looking smile and ensure your continued good oral health.
Call us at 509-591-0515 today, or use our handy online appointment form.
You Only Have One Set of Teeth: Lost Teeth Don’t Get Better On Their Own!