Tooth loss is still a common problem in the United States despite the improvements in dental care. Millions of Americans have one or several missing teeth due to periodontitis, tooth decay, or an injury. Regardless of the cause of your tooth loss, missing teeth cause numerous problems – from affecting your outward appearance to the foods you can eat. Initially, dentures and bridges were the only replacement for people with missing teeth. But today, Waterford dental implants offer a better alternative to individuals who cannot or are unwilling to wear dentures.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are screw-like posts made of titanium or zirconia to replace your natural tooth roots. They offer a strong and permanent foundation for artificial replacement teeth like crowns. Dental implant placement requires surgery for them to be embedded in your jawbone; therefore, not everyone may benefit from them. For this reason, initial consultation with your oral health professional is essential to determine if you are a good candidate for dental implants.
Who is eligible for dental implants?
Most of the time, anyone healthy enough to undergo oral surgery or routine dental extraction can be considered for dental implants. However, a good candidate should have healthy gums and adequate bone mass to support the implant. But today, bone grafting allows people with insufficient bone mass to get dental implants. If you have problems like tooth decay and gum disease, your dentists will offer treatment before you can get dental implants. During an initial consultation, your oral surgeon explains dental implant surgery.
You will learn that the whole treatment is lengthy, meaning you should be willing to commit to several months of treatment. Your dentist may caution against dental implants if you are a chronic smoker or have uncontrolled diabetes or heart disease. These conditions impede healing and increase the risk of surgical wound complications.
Advantages of dental implants
- Improved comfort. Eventually, dental implants fuse with your jawbone, meaning they become part of you. You may hardly notice that you have a foreign object in your mouth. This is unlike dentures which fit snuggly on your natural teeth.
- Improved appearance. Missing one or more teeth makes you look older than your actual age. You may feel self-conscious and hide your teeth when you smile or laugh. But dental implants restore your missing teeth, boosting your self-confidence and improving your appearance.
- Better speech. It is common for people with poor-fitting dentures to mumble or slur their words. On the other hand, dental implants fit firmly into your jawbone so you speak freely without the worry that teeth might slip.
- Easier eating. Dentures usually slide as you chew, so eating may become a challenge. But dental implants are stable and function much like your natural teeth. Therefore, you can enjoy all types of foods without feeling pain.
- Convenient. Dental implants are permanent; you don’t have to remove them and use messy adhesives to glue them back. You can stay with your dental implants for a lifetime with good care.
If dentures and bridges are not an option, consult your oral surgeon at Dr. Taylor’s Family Dental Center to establish if you are a good candidate for dental implants.