Humans have been replacing missing teeth for millennia to restore function and correct dental issues. Today, tooth replacement has come far, and the replacement options are more realistic than ever. The gold standard for tooth replacement today is dental implants, a choice that only became available in the 1950s.
When people think about dental implants, they think of the crown visible above the gums. But the truth is much deeper, pun intended. More accurately, dental implants are replacement tooth roots embedded deep in the jawbone below the gums.
They are ideal because they offer the same firmness, function, and feel as your natural teeth. To be sure, they don’t happen overnight. They require surgery and sometimes months of waiting between procedures to complete successfully. The reward more than makes up for the wait, however: Their success rate goes well above 90%.
To qualify for dental implants, you must meet some health requirements to ensure the implants' success. The most critical ones are:
Because dental implants are embedded directly in the jawbone, you must have enough bone density to hold the metallic root. While bone density is a qualifying factor, there are alternatives for lacking patients. You can get a bone graft in your jaw to increase the amount of bone to hold the implant.
Gums are vital to the support of your teeth and your overall oral health. When you have gum disease, your whole mouth is affected, and the chance of your implant failing is high. The dentist will have to treat your gum disease before they can proceed with the implant procedure.
Bruxism or teeth grinding is an involuntary disorder that causes you to clench or grind your teeth, especially while you sleep or are anxious. You may not be suitable for dental implants when you have this condition. You could unwillingly apply too much pressure on the tooth crown and damage it. The dentist would have to treat your bruxism before performing the implant procedure.
Some chronic conditions like cardiac disease and diabetes can affect the ability of the body to heal and, therefore, may lead to a failed implant. If you have any of these conditions, you may require to have them under control to qualify for the implants.
Smoking impacts the ability of the body to heal after surgery, which can affect the success of the implant. Moreover, heavy smokers are at a higher infection risk after the implant procedure, which would also result in implant failure.
Some medications have side effects that can affect the body's function, especially its healing ability. Medication that negatively impacts the immune system may also predispose you to infection after the implant procedure. Other medications, like antidepressants, affect the health of your bones. They may limit bone growth or cause bone density loss, which is counterproductive to how implants work.
For more on whether you are a good candidate for dental implants, visit Elite Dentistry & Implant Center at our office in Chelsea, Alabama. Call (205) 224-0040 to book an appointment today.