Missing teeth can introduce a number of complications to your smile. Whether you lost one, several, or an entire arch of teeth, you may struggle with your ability to chew or speak. You might feel uncomfortable about gaps impacting your smile’s appearance.
You may also face a risk of further oral health deterioration with missing teeth. So you should not ignore the issue, even if you think you can tolerate the discomfort. Schedule a consultation with your dentist to find the best tooth replacement solution for your smile.
You can experience high-quality restoration after tooth loss if you replace missing teeth with dental implants. But not all patients will be eligible for this treatment. Read on to learn about three qualities a dentist will look for before recommending implant dentistry for a patient seeking tooth replacement treatment.
Looking for Permanent Dental Restoration
Dental implant treatment begins with a surgical procedure to insert a titanium post anchor into the patient’s jaw. As you heal from the surgery, the anchor fuses with the jawbone to create a solid foundation that will support prosthetic teeth. Because of this fusion process, dentists consider implant dentistry to be a permanent tooth replacement.
Many people appreciate the long-lasting benefits that come with fixed implants. Once in place, you cannot remove dental implants without assistance from your dentist. You do not have to worry about appliances slipping out of place at an inopportune moment.
However, some people may prefer a more flexible option to replace missing teeth like removable dentures. Discuss your oral health goals along with your preferences with your dentist to ensure that implant dentistry is right for you.
Healthy and Stable Jawbone
Dental implants rely on the fusion process of the anchor with the jawbone. So you must possess enough healthy bone in the jaw for this process to occur successfully.
But if you suffer from tooth loss, your jawbone may begin to deteriorate without the stimulation from the absent tooth root. If you lose too much jawbone before dental implant treatment, then the fusion cannot happen properly.
Your dentist might recommend a bone graft to build stability in the jaw that may eventually sustain a dental implant. A dentist will evaluate your jawbone health using x-ray imaging during a dental consultation. This exam will determine if you are a good candidate for an implant.
Commitment to the Implant Dentistry Process
Implant dentistry will involve at least three appointments at your dentist’s office over the course of several months. The ideal candidate for this treatment will understand this process and exhibit patience and commitment throughout each step. It can help to focus on the long-lasting, durable, and highly beneficial final result.
You can expect to attend an initial consultation to confirm dental implants are right for your oral health needs and goals. Then you have oral surgery to place the anchor of the implant. It will take a few months for this to heal and for the fusion to occur.
Then you return to your dentist to receive permanent, custom-made prosthetic teeth. These will last for twenty years or longer with proper care. Attend follow-up appointments with your dentist to ensure these fixtures function as well as they should.