By Dr. Laura Kearney
What Are Dental Implants?
Every year millions of dental implants are placed by dentists in the United States, making them not only a common option for replacing teeth, but a very popular one as well. Dental implants are essentially posts that are surgically placed into the upper and or lower jawbone, replacing one or more teeth. Implants are made out of titanium, which is a strong yet lightweight metal, allowing them to offer firm support similar to natural teeth.
The Benefits of Dental Implants
There are many benefits to having dental implant surgery, but the most valuable benefit is that with proper care and maintenance, they can last you a lifetime. In addition to their long term value, implants have a number of benefits as it relates to your oral health, including the following:
- Implants will not shift in your mouth, which is pertinent for speaking properly and eating normally
- Implants will help to preserve your bone after losing or removing teeth
- If all you need is a single tooth implant, it serves as a stand-alone post, meaning you will not need treatment of the teeth next to it
- Dental implants feel more natural than conventional dentures
Another advantage to implants is that they can replace a single tooth, many teeth, or a full set of dentures.
Am I A Good Candidate For Dental Implant Surgery?
Have you lost teeth due to disease or an accident? Do you find yourself constantly hiding your smile because of missing teeth? Are your dentures causing you discomfort? Or maybe you are simply unhappy with your removable partial dentures. If you answered yes to any of these questions, dental implants could be a great solution for you but you should always consult with your dentist to ensure its a safe option for you before scheduling any surgery.
Important factors to consider before dental implant surgery would be your general health and the strength of your jaw. You must have enough jawbone in order to support the implants or be eligible for a surgery to have your jawbone built up. If you have certain chronic diseases, such as leukemia or diabetes, implant surgery may not be for you; these diseases can significantly slow your healing time after surgery. Lastly, the use of any type of tobacco product can hinder the healing process.
If cleared by your dentist, you should consider the care that is vital to the success of your implant surgery. You will need to make regular visits to the dentist in addition to an at-home cleaning routine, involving brushing at least twice a day and flossing once a day. Your dentist will review all of this information with you and set you up for success so that your dental implants last you a lifetime!