Dental implants have earned a great reputation for serving as durable replacement teeth, especially among dental specialists like an oral surgeon. This is because implants uniquely address the loss of all a tooth’s structures. By embedding a titanium post that resembles a small screw into the jawbone, dental implants will basically serve as a stable base and function like a tooth’s natural root to support prosthetics such as bridges or crowns. Under the right circumstances, an implant can last for the rest of a person’s life. There are certain factors, however, that improve the success and longevity of dental implants. Following are some important things to consider when evaluating whether dental implants are right for your needs.
Do you have adequate bone mass?
Since dental implants are embedded directly in the jaw, it is important that patients have healthy, dense bone mass to keep the implant secure. In fact, bone integrates with titanium because titanium is a biocompatible metal. This integration process is called osseointegration. Bone fusing to implants creates a stable base for prosthetic teeth.
Are your gums healthy?
Along with having healthy bone mass, having healthy gums is important as well. Like the jaws, gums are an integral component of supporting both biological teeth and dental implants. If patients have gum disease that is not managed with professional treatment and oral hygiene, the stability of implants can be threatened. Advanced gum disease means that the chronic infection present in the mouth can deteriorate bone mass and irritated gums tend to recede, which can expose the dental implant and the roots of natural teeth.
Even after receiving dental implants, gum disease is still a threat. For this reason, patients should avoid habits and lifestyle choices that increase their risk for periodontal disease. This includes practicing proper oral hygiene and abstaining from tobacco use—including smoking cigars and cigarettes.
The best way to determine if dental implants are right for your tooth replacement needs is to schedule an examination and consultation with one of our skilled oral surgeons. Call our team today to reserve an appointment.