Am I a Candidate for Implants?
When you lose your teeth, your entire life is affected. Things that you once did with little thought, such as eating and speaking, become difficult. The appearance of your smile is altered, and your confidence suffers. Under the gums, your jawbone begins to weaken. As it grows weaker, it begins to change shape, which can affect your oral health and cause you to look older. Replacing your missing teeth is crucial for restoring your oral health, improving your smile, and giving you back your life. There are several options available for tooth replacement, including bridges, dentures, and dental implants. Dental implants are one of the most popular choices. Not only do they restore the functions of your teeth and your smile, but they also help to preserve the health of your jawbone. At Oregon Periodontics, P.C., we can help you to determine if you are a candidate.
Have You Experienced Tooth Loss?
Dental implants are used to replace missing teeth. Tooth loss is one of the most basic qualifications to undergo this treatment. Implants are quite versatile and can be used in a variety of different situations. Whether you are missing only one tooth, you are missing multiple teeth, or you are missing all of your teeth, there is an implant to meet just about every need. Implants may also be discussed even if you still have all of your teeth, but are scheduled to undergo tooth extractions.
How Old Are You?
There is a common misconception that you may be too old for implants. This is just not true. You are never too old to enjoy the benefits of implants. As long as you meet other criteria, you can get implants, whether you are 30, 65, or older. However, it is possible to be too young for implants. This is because the jawbone continues to grow and develop until you reach your late teens the to early 20s. An implant placed in a premature jaw can lead to developmental issues. If your child or teen has lost a permanent tooth, other replacement options will have to be used until their jaw stops growing. Once the jaw is fully developed, then implants can be discussed to replace the original replacement.
Are You in Good Health?
Implants require a surgical procedure. To undergo surgery, and heal properly afterward, it is important that you be in good overall health. Poor health can increase your risk of experiencing complications during surgery. It can also slow your healing, which increases your risk for infections and implant failure. If you have any oral health issues, such as cavities or gum disease, these will need to be treated before surgery. If you are living with any chronic conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease, these will need to be well managed and under control. Even if you are generally in good health, but feel ill before your scheduled surgery, it is important that you call the office as it may be necessary to reschedule your appointment for when you are feeling well again.
Are You a Smoker?
Smoking, or using any other type of tobacco products, is harmful to your whole-body health, and can seriously impede your ability to heal. Smoking slows the flow of blood, which can slow the delivery of essential nutrients required for proper healing. The amount of oxygen in your bloodstream is limited. The action of smoking can also dislodge clots at the surgical sites, which then increases the risk for infections and implant failure. If you smoke or use any other type of tobacco product, it will be important that you quit. If you are unable to quit for good, you will need to be willing to abstain for a period before and after your surgery to ensure the best results.
What Shape Is Your Jawbone In?
Dental implants rely on the fusion of your jawbone to the titanium rods. Successful fusion, called osseointegration, turns the rods into stable roots that support your new crowns. For osseointegration to happen properly, there needs to be sufficient bone mass in your jaw. However, bone loss is a natural consequence of tooth loss. The longer you wait for treatment, the more bone mass is lost. Without sufficient bone mass, implants are likely to fail.
Just because you have lost too much bone mass, this does not mean you are ineligible for implants. There are things that can be done. If you are missing an entire arch of teeth, the All-on-4® Treatment Concept may be an option. Bone grafts are also a possibility. This surgical procedure restores missing bone mass, restoring the necessary strength to your jaw to support dental implants.
Dental implants give you back the functions of your mouth, the aesthetics of your smile, and your quality of life. Call Oregon Periodontics, P.C., today to schedule your consultation and find out if this revolutionary treatment is right for you at (503) 575-7750.