Dental implants can be considered a cosmetic dental procedure because they impact how your smile looks. But improving the look of your smile is only one small benefit that dental implants can provide. Dental implants are a permanent solution to tooth loss and have the ability to act as anchors for other types of dental work you may need. If you are considering implants as an option, the condition of your jaw, gums, and other teeth will all factor into deciding if you are a good candidate. Understanding the basic facts about dental implants will help you decide if they are an option you want to explore through a dental consultation.
Dental implants are a permanent tooth replacement option
Dental implants are posts that are made using surgical grade titanium. The titanium post is the actual implant and the tooth that you see once your implant is complete is attached to the post. The titanium post is surgically placed below the gums and into the jaw bone. Over time, the bone and post fuse together to create an artificial tooth root. This process makes dental implants a strong and permanent tooth replacement option. Dental implants are not removable and provide a much more secure and natural feeling over removable options like dentures and bridges. Once placed, you can treat your dental implants like any other tooth.
Dental implants can serve as anchors for other dental work
Dental implants can serve as anchors for other types of dental work. For example, if you need a bridge a dental implant can be used as the anchor for the bridge just like one of your natural and healthy teeth. If you have more than one area in your mouth with missing teeth your dentist may recommend a combination of treatment options. You may benefit from having some dental implants placed to serve as anchors for the other dental work you require.
The condition of your jaw, gums, and other teeth can impact whether or not you qualify for implants
Dental implants are not a viable option in every situation. In order to place implants into your jaw bone, you must have a certain level of bone mass remaining. If you have been living with missing teeth for many years it is possible that you have experienced some bone loss in your jaw. The health of your gums and the way your remaining teeth fit together also impact your ability to get dental implants. The only way to determine for sure if your mouth is in a good condition for dental implants is to have an examination and consultation with a prosthodontist. A prosthodontist will conduct a thorough examination in order to determine if dental implants are the best solution to your tooth loss.
Understanding these facts about dental implants will benefit you as you continue to look for a solution to your tooth loss. If you are concerned that you may not qualify for dental implants do not let that keep you from scheduling a consultation. In some situations, there are interventions that can help improve the condition of your mouth and make implants a possibility.
Julie C Berger, DDS, MA, FACP is a local Gettysburg dentist and a board certified prosthodontist specialist. She is a former full time instructor at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry.