What Are Dental Implants & Are They a Good Option for You?
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is placed into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge.
It is typically a small titanium post/fixture that is inserted into the jawbone, on top of which a single crown (cap), a fixed bridge, or a partial/full denture can be attached.
If you’re missing a tooth, there are several important reasons to replace it:
- Missing teeth may affect the way you speak and chew.
- If a missing tooth is not replaced, the teeth around it can move. This can affect your bite and place more stress on your teeth and jaw joints.
- Teeth that have tipped or drifted are also harder to clean. This puts them at a higher risk for tooth decay and gum disease.
- Bone loss can occur around the missing tooth.
- You may not like the way a missing tooth affects your looks.
Dental implants have been successfully used for hundreds of thousands of patients over the last 30 years. The success rate is greater than 90% and in those rare cases where they fail, they can usually be redone.
Who is a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?
Dental implants may be an option for people who have lost a tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease, an injury, or some other reason.
In most cases, you are a good candidate if:
- You are in good general health. Some chronic illnesses may slow healing after surgery and prevent successful placement of an implant.
- You have a jawbone that can support an implant. If you have lost bone in your jaw you may still get an implant. Sometimes bone must be added by a special process known as bone grafting.
- You don’t use tobacco in any form. Smoking or chewing tobacco may be linked to a higher rate of implant failure, but in most cases can still be successful.
What Are the Advantages of Dental Implants?
Nothing perfectly replaces your natural tooth, but an implant can come close.
An implant looks and acts like a natural tooth. It fits securely even when you chew and speak. A single tooth implant does not involve treatment to your other teeth. Plus, it may also help you keep a good level of bone around your teeth.
Dental implants can last a lifetime and can improve your appearance, your confidence, and your ability to eat the foods you like. With an implant, you can participate in an active lifestyle without worrying about your teeth. Dental implants are made of titanium and can never get dental decay.
What Are the Disadvantages of Dental Implants?
Like any minor oral surgical procedure, there is a risk of infection, inflammation, and pain, but your dentist will discuss how these can be managed for your specific situation.
If there is no available bone to place the implant, then bone and gum grafting procedures may be required, which can increase the cost of your treatment. However, the upfront investment can pay off in the long term.
Are You Ready to Learn More?
Your initial evaluation will include an examination of your mouth and teeth and a thorough review of your medical and dental histories. Your mouth will be X-rayed. This will provide information on the amount of bone in your jaw and its shape and where the nerves and sinuses are.
Finally, you and your dentist will discuss the options available to you. You will talk about the procedure, and its cost and possible complications. Your dentist will work with you to develop a treatment plan for your needs and preferences.
Kellerman Dental specializes in dental implants in the Edwardsville/Glen Carbon area. If you’d like to learn more, please contact our office to schedule your personal consultation with Dr. Kellerman.