Living with missing teeth doesn’t just cause aesthetic issues. If one or more teeth fall out, it can also cause problems with bite patterns, affect normal speech, allow the remaining teeth to migrate out of place, and even cause the jawbone to erode over time. Until recently, dentures and bridges were the only options for people who were missing teeth, but dental implants have changed all that.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are steel posts capped with ceramic or porcelain crowns. The post is screwed into the patient’s jawbone and acts as a root. The crown looks and feels just like a normal tooth, allowing people to chew and speak normally and preventing further damage to surrounding hard and soft tissues.
Who Should Get Dental Implants?
The dental implants offered by North Vancouver Dentistry & Implant Centre are a good fit for almost all of the clinic’s patients. People who are missing just one or two teeth usually get individual implants, while those who need to replace entire arches may be more interested in all-on-four dentures. Dental implants are generally appropriate for people who:
· Are missing one or more teeth
Are old enough that their jawbones have stopped growing
Have a healthy jawbone or could undergo a bone graft safely
Have a generally good oral and general health
Are unhappy with current tooth replacement solutions
Want to improve their speech
Don’t mind committing to a several-month implantation process
Who Should Not Get Dental Implants?
While dental implant technology is quite impressive, it’s not the right solution for everyone. Dental patients will have to undergo a full exam and discuss any underlying medical problems before scheduling their implant surgeries. Dentists and periodontists keep an eye out for the following issues, which may be contraindications for dental implant surgery.
1. Use of Certain Medications
Some medications, including corticosteroids, bisphosphonates, and chemotherapy drugs, do not mix well with dental implants. The medications raise a patient’s chances of experiencing implant failure or unwanted complications. On the other end of the spectrum, some studies show that people who take beta-blockers experience lower rates of implant failure.
2. Uncontrolled Illnesses
Dental implants must osseointegrate into a patient’s bone successfully, which can only happen if the person undergoing the surgery is generally healthy and does not suffer from any diseases that could impede healing. Chronic health problems that can hamper healing include cancer, diabetes, hemophilia, osteonecrosis, and autoimmune disorders. All of these conditions can also raise a patient’s chances of experiencing complications, including infections.
3. Ongoing Dental Issues
Patients who are battling active periodontal disease are not good candidates for dental implants. This serious form of gum disease, which often causes tooth loss, to begin with, can also increase the risk of infections. Take the time to have the periodontal disease treated before replacing missing teeth.
4. Insufficient Bone Density
A patient’s jawbone must be strong enough to support an implant for it to osseointegrate properly. Since most people lose between 40 and 60% of their bone density surrounding missing teeth within three years, it’s often necessary to undergo bone grafting.
Schedule a Consultation
The only person who can definitively decide whether a patient is a good candidate for dental implant surgery is his or her dentist or periodontist. The best way to determine eligibility is to schedule a consultation with an expert to go over medical history, oral health problems, and other issues that could come up during an implant procedure.