Dental implants are a popular tooth replacement option, and for a good reason. If you have missing teeth, and would like to replace them, dental implants may prove to be the best option for doing so. However, there are certain criteria that need to be evaluated by an oral surgeon to be sure you are a good candidate for the procedure.
Why You Should Replace Missing Teeth
Missing teeth can affect your smile and your health in a variety of ways:
Bone Loss Can Result
Your teeth stimulate bone growth in your jaw, which means that bone loss can occur once those teeth go missing. A deteriorating jawbone can compromise the surrounding structures in your mouth and weaken other teeth.
Not only can bone loss weaken your teeth, but it can also cause your facial structure to shift and your skin to sag, resulting in looking older than you really are.
Your Ability to Chew and Speak May Be Affected
The effect that missing teeth have on your ability to eat can be fairly obvious, especially when you can no longer eat foods that you enjoy.
Their effect on your ability to enunciate properly may be a more subtle issue, but if it significantly harms your ability to communicate, then it can be more detrimental than an unwanted diet change.
Your Self-Confidence Can Suffer
If you are unable to smile with confidence, your self-esteem and mental health are likely to suffer. Replacing missing teeth can be a life-changing decision in ways you may not even currently realize.
Other Reasons Why You Might Want Dental Implants
You may also want to consider dental implants if you have the following:
- A severely damaged tooth that cannot be repaired
- A tooth infection that needs extraction
- Another tooth replacement option you are unhappy with loose-fitting full or partial dentures
If you have already replaced missing teeth with dentures but the fit is uncomfortable, or if you are not satisfied with the bite strength they offer, you may want to consider All-on-4® implants or an implant retained denture (overdenture).
This procedure can fix your dentures to your mouth using 2-6 strategically placed dental implants that can give the dentures the strength and support you are looking for.
What Makes a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?
While dental implants make an attractive and often essential option for both your smile and your health, you may not necessarily be the best candidate. A good candidate for dental implants has the following:
Sufficient Bone Density
Because dental implants are integrated with the jawbone, it is crucial that you have the necessary bone density to support the implant. If too much bone loss has occurred due to missing teeth, you may not be a good candidate.
Sometimes, a bone graft procedure may be able to provide you with the needed bone density.
Healthy gums are an important part of dental implant maintenance. Good gum health is important for the procedure to be a success. If you have gum disease, you may not be a viable candidate for dental implants.
Good Oral Hygiene
Poor oral hygiene is a common reason for tooth loss. If that is the case for you, then your oral surgeon may be reluctant to provide you with dental implants unless you are willing to commit to brushing, flossing, and seeing your dentist for regular checkups after the procedure is complete.
Considering Dental Implants?
If you are in the area and feel that dental implants could be the best option for you, the dedicated team of oral surgeons at Bay Area Oral Surgery may be able to help. Learn more about whether dental implants might be a good fit for you and your smile.