WHO IS A CANDIDATE
Tooth loss is a big deal that can seriously impact your quality of life. Fortunately, there are options available to replace them. Dental implants are the latest option, and one of the most popular. While they require a surgical procedure, they offer numerous advantages over more traditional options. Not only do they restore the functions of your mouth, but implants are also more comfortable, easier to care for, permanent, and they preserve the strength of your jawbone, stopping the bone loss typically associated with tooth loss. At National Dental Sunnyside, we can help to determine if you are a candidate.
YOU ARE MISSING TEETH
Dental implants are made to replace missing teeth. The most obvious qualification is that you are missing at least one. Tooth loss has several causes – gum disease, trauma, tooth decay. Implants are customizable and can be made to replace any number of missing teeth, whether you are missing only one, or you are missing all of them. They can also be discussed as an option if you need to have teeth extracted.
YOU ARE IN GOOD HEALTH
To place dental implants, you need to undergo a surgical procedure. The recovery period is also quite long, ranging from several weeks to several months, depending on how many implants are being placed. You will need to be in good overall health to get implants. If you have gum disease, treatment will be required before surgery. If you have any chronic conditions, like diabetes, they will need to be under control to be considered a candidate. If you are scheduled for surgery, and you feel ill before your appointment, call the office. It may be necessary to reschedule.
YOU DON’T SMOKE
Cigarettes contain thousands of chemicals that are harmful to your body. Smoking significantly limits the amount of oxygen in your blood and restricts your blood flow. This means that both the necessary amount of oxygen and vital nutrients required for healing following surgery are slow to reach your jaw and gums. Smoking can also cause dry socket, a condition in which clots become dislodged, leaving open spaces for bacteria to enter into your bloodstream. Both of these increase your risk of developing an infection, which can then lead to implant failure. If you are currently a smoker, you will need to quit for the period of treatment, as well as while you are healing, if you cannot quit for good.
YOU’RE NEVER TOO OLD
Many older tooth loss patients think that they are too old for dental implants. You are never too old to enjoy the many benefits that implants have to offer, so long as you meet other criteria. You can, however, be too young. The jaws of children and young teens are continuously growing and developing.
Children who have lost a permanent tooth (often a result of a sports-related injury) will not be able to get an implant, as placing one in an underdeveloped jaw can lead to serious issues. If your child has lost a permanent tooth, other options will need to be considered.
YOUR JAWBONE IS IN GOOD SHAPE
Dental implants rely on a process known as osseointegration. This is the process in which your jawbone fuses to the implants as you heal. For this to be successful, you must have sufficient bone mass. However, bone loss occurs naturally after tooth loss. If you have lost too much bone mass, implants will not fuse properly, and they will be unstable. This does not mean you cannot get implants, however. You may need to have a bone graft, or you may be a candidate for the All-on-4® Treatment Concept.
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Dental implants can be a great solution for patients who have suffered tooth loss. If you are missing teeth, whether it’s one or many, Contact National Dental Upper East Side at (646) 736-2206 and schedule your consultation today!