An estimated 178 million Americans are missing one or more of their teeth. Over a quarter of those patients have lost all of their teeth, either from gum disease, tooth decay, or dental trauma. Missing teeth can lead to bone loss, gum disease, and cause the surrounding teeth to shift. The potential for dental issues increases as we age. If you are one of the millions of Americans who are missing at least one tooth, dental implants may be an affordable solution. The only way to determine if you meet the qualifications for dental implants is to visit our family dentistry practice for a consultation. We’ve put together a list of qualifications to help determine if you should take that next step towards a healthy smile.
What Are Dental Implants and Am I a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?
A dental implant, also known as a dental restoration, is a state-of-the-art replacement for your natural tooth. First, a custom-fitted titanium root is inserted into the jawbone. This root serves as the foundation and support for your removable or fixed replacement tooth. Replacements include crowns, dentures, and bridges.
To meet your unique dental needs, each restoration is custom-fitted, colored, and texture-matched. This ensures a natural function, feel, and look.
Good Bone Density
Good bone support is critical to the success of a patient’s dental implants. A strong jawbone supports the implants, ensuring they don’t loosen during chewing.
If you’ve had missing teeth for several years, it’s possible that the part of the bone has deteriorated. Don’t get discouraged, as this doesn’t disqualify you as a candidate. Your dentist can perform a bone grafting procedure to help strengthen that jawbone.
Gum health is another important factor for a successful dental implant procedure. Receding gums due to gum disease can compromise the stability of your implants.
If your gums aren’t healthy enough for implants, it’s possible that you’ll need a gum graft. While this will delay your dental restorations, the gum draft procedure ensures you have a healthy and strong gum line to support your implants.
Good Oral Hygiene
Good oral hygiene, both before and after the implant surgery, is paramount to the success of dental implants. Poor dental hygiene immediately following the procedure can lead to infection and, in some cases, implant failure.
After the surgery, your dentist will prescribe routine brushing and saltwater rinses. Once everything has healed, oral hygiene will continue to be a part of your daily routine. This helps prevent infection, bone loss, and the loss of implants.
Ditch the Tobacco
The use of tobacco products directly impacts the health of your gums and teeth. It not only leads to gum disease, it reduces the success rate for dental implants.
Oral and teeth complications from the use of tobacco products include:
- Gum disease
- Increased risk for infection
- Bone fails to fuse to the implants
- Causes implant to loosen and/or fall out
- Tooth discoloration
Before an implant procedure at Hebert Family Dentistry in North Lafayette, we ask that you quit smoking. This will help you heal faster and increase your chances of a successful implant procedure.
To ensure your safety and the success of your procedure, it is critical that you provide us with a thorough dental and medical health history.
Risk factors that can impact the implant surgery’s outcome include:
- Radiation to the jawbone
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Uncontrolled gum disease
- Teeth grinding or clenching
- Autoimmune disorders
- Long-term use of certain medications, such as steroids
- Sinuses too close to the jawbone
It’s important that you have an honest conversation with your dentist regarding your health history. Armed with the right information, we can work with you to restore your overall health and increase your chances for a successful procedure.
With the right conditions, the success rate for dental implants is 98%. Patients are typically happy with the outcome and go on to enjoy their implants for the duration of their lives.
Contact Hebert Family Dentistry
At Hebert Family Dentistry in North Lafayette, we use the latest in digital technology to deliver quality, long-lasting dental restorations. In addition to dental implants, we offer a full range of dentistry services, including clear aligners, cleaning and examinations, and clear correct. Schedule an appointment today and get you on your way to a better smile and find out am I a good candidate for dental implants.