Dental implants are one of the great boons of modern dentistry–a way of replacing a lost or damaged tooth with a prosthesis that functions for the most part like the real thing. Dental implants offer a number of significant advantages over traditional dentures or bridges, and often improve a patient’s quality of life beyond what those other options can do. Some big questions remain, however: who needs dental implants? What makes someone a good candidate for implants? Why might someone choose them?
Let’s start with this: who needs implants? To put it another way, what makes someone a good candidate for dental implants as opposed to dentures or bridges? As it turns out not everyone is able to get implants, so here are some things to consider:
- The condition of the jaw bone. As they are implanted directly into the jaw to give them stability and durability much like a natural tooth, dental implant patients should have strong and healthy jawbones. While the jaw bone can be repaired or corrected prior to implants being put in place, this adds additional time and expense to the procedure.
- The health of the gums. Like natural teeth, dental implants are nested in the gums. As such healthy gums are a must before dental implants can be installed. Otherwise complications might ensue that could prolong healing or even damage the implant or implant site.
- The patient’s immune health. A healthy and functional immune system is a must for dental implant patients, ensuring that the implant site heals properly and the implant takes. Patients with compromised immune systems may face additional complications in seeking dental implants; your dentist can tell you more about your own individual case.
- The patient’s overall oral health. A healthy mouth is important for all sorts of reasons, but especially before a permanent dental prosthesis is installed. Activities that are harmful to overall oral health, such as smoking and drinking, can complicate the process of getting a dental implant.
So, when are implants a good idea? What advantages do dental implants offer? For the right patient dental implants can be a great choice, with many strengths that traditional dentures and bridges don’t have. These might include:
- feeling more natural than dentures or bridges, making eating, speaking, and other everyday activities easier and more comfortable.
- they are stable; they won’t slip, shift, or move in your mouth or against your other teeth.
- implants can be better for the health of the jaw and gums.
- Because they look more natural, implants give many patients more confidence in their smiles than traditional prosthetics do.
- With proper care, dental implants are nearly as durable as natural teeth, lasting a lifetime.
Your dentist can help you decide if they are the right choice for you, or if another kind of prosthetic might be better suited to your needs. In either case, your dentist will also tell you how to care for your new implant or prosthetic. This generally includes regular cleanings as part of a daily brushing and flossing routine. This sort of daily care is foundational to oral health in general, but of extra importance for patients with implants or prosthetics.
Whatever your dental care needs, from a regular checkup to a dental implant, Plage Dentistry has the skills and experience to help. We treat every patient’s unique needs, helping them find the right solutions to care for their oral health. Get in touch with us today and we’ll schedule an appointment as soon as possible.