Whether it’s from an accident, genetics, or poor hygiene, you find yourself missing a tooth or two. It’s important to get that area filled quickly, otherwise you can start some processes in your mouth that can lead to some very uncomfortable situations. Those include teeth shifting around and leading to massive overbites or underbites. So it’s imperative to see a dentist as soon as you can.
When you do sit in the dental chair, they may go over the options… and one of them may be dental implants. You can get individual implants, several in a row or even an entire upper or lower one. They are permanent and do not need to be removed nightly. They mimic regular teeth, so you can largely eat and drink like you did before – unlike dentures. But you are still not sure if they are the right solution for you.
The State of Your Jaw
Bone density is extremely important when it comes to your ability to get dental implants. The mass of your jaw has to have a certain level of thickness in order to be able to support the titanium screw that your dentist or dental specialist will be putting in. If it’s too thin, then the implant won’t hold and you will have to have more work done on your mouth.
Don’t fret if you find out that you do not have enough mass. There are things that can be done, including getting a bone graft. That can help increase the thickness of the jawbone. Another possibility is that you can get mini implants. The screws are smaller and require less bone mass than traditional implants. Ask your dentist what they think is the right option for you.
Your Oral Hygiene
This also plays just as big a part as how thick your jawbone is. The dentist or specialist will take a close look at your mouth to make sure that there are no underlying infections or gum disease that will cause the recovery process to become very problematic. They may have to ensure that the infection is gone, whether via dental surgery or antibiotics. The infection can weaken the implant itself.
Fortunately, the solution is a simple one – brush and floss regularly. Make sure that you spend the proper amount of time doing this each time – two minutes of brushing and that you are using the proper technique. If you do this, then you are well on your way to ensuring that you will be an excellent candidate for dental implants.
Your Overall Health
The dentist or specialist will make sure that you have no underlying conditions that may make healing more difficult. If you have diabetes or leukemia, both of those could interfere with the process – there is a waiting period to make sure that the titanium screw fuses with the jawbone first. If the healing is not speedy, then that could open the door to things like infection.
You may have other things going on, like a thyroid condition or may be undergoing chemotherapy for cancer. Your immune system may be very low, so that would prevent any healing – plus your mouth may dry out more and that can create a breeding ground for bacteria that can cause infection. Having a screw in your jaw at that time would hardly be optimal.
Having these conditions does not automatically rule you out, though. There have been advances in dental technology and medicine that can still make you a candidate. You just need to disclose everything to your dentist so that they can formulate the best plan for you. Like everything else in medicine, communication is key in order to have the best chance of progress.
As time goes on and there are more advances, the pool for candidates for dental implants is growing, not shrinking. Chances are very good that you will be able to get them. The last hurdle may be the financial aspect. They are expensive, but they also pay for themselves over the course of time since they are so long-lasting – up to 25 years.
It all comes down to meeting the above criteria. Do not be afraid to have a detailed conversation with your dentist about it. Research is crucial – but use reputable sites. Having a list with you when you come to the dentist is a good way to ensure that you don’t forget to ask a certain question and also get the most thorough answers that you can.
When it comes to determining whether anyone is a good candidate for dental implants, few are as good doing that as the staff at Acadia Dental and Dentures. Whether you visit the Hagerstown or Frederick office, you will be thoroughly examined and then be walked through the whole process. You can either call 301-797-2538 (Hagerstown) or 301-662-1760 to make an appointment.
Acadia Dental and Dentures
1303 Pennsylvania Ave.
Hagerstown, MD 21740
Phone: (301) 797-2538
490 Prospect Blvd.
Frederick, MD 21701
Phone: (301) 662-1760