Tooth loss can have a number of negative and far-reaching side effects. It can impact how you feel about your smile and make it difficult to do daily tasks such as eat and talk. In addition, a missing tooth or teeth can cause your other teeth to shift and impact your bite. Over time, a missing tooth will lead to bone loss in your jaw. Dental implants are a transformative cosmetic procedure that can replace your missing root and tooth. They can help you feel confident about your smile and allow you to talk and eat normally once again. Dental implants can prevent the surrounding teeth from shifting and act as an anchor for other types of dental work. All of these benefits of dental implants make them a great choice in many situations. But dental implants are not the right option in all situation. You will work closely with your prosthodontist to determine if you are a good candidate for dental implants. Factors that will be considered include what you want from tooth replacement, the condition of your jaw bone, and the health of your gums.
You are looking for a permanent solution to tooth loss
If you are looking for a permanent solution to tooth loss then you may be a good candidate for dental implants. They are surgically placed into the bone of your jaw. The implant and jaw bone fuse together over time and the implant acts as an artificial tooth root. This creates stability in your jaw and can help prevent bone loss and the shifting of your other teeth.
You have not experienced severe bone loss in your jaw
The roots of your teeth are an important part of maintaining the bone in your jaw. When you lose a tooth the bone of your jaw can deteriorate over time. If you have lived without one or more teeth for an extended period of time you may have lost some of your bone density. In order to have a dental implant placed into your jaw there must be a certain amount of bone remaining. The amount of bone that remains in your jaw will be a determining factor in your ability to get dental implants.
Your gums are healthy
The condition of your gums is another factor that your dentist will consider when examining you for dental implants. If you have gingivitis or the more serious type of gum disease called periodontitis it may prevent you from getting dental implants right away. The good news is that most types of gum disease are treatable. If your gums are not healthy enough for dental implants your dentist may suggest changes you can make to improve the health of your gums so you can get implants in the future.
You cannot decide on your own if you are a good candidate for dental implants. Your prosthodontist will do a thorough examination to determine if dental implants are the best solution for your tooth loss. If you are ready to get the process started you can quickly and easily schedule a consultation at Samuels Dental Arts.
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.