Combating Tooth Loss With Dental Implants
Tooth loss is a common problem in the United States; it is majorly due to periodontitis, but other causes include tooth decay and injuries. If you miss a tooth or more, you may be self-conscious each time you smile. Further, severe tooth loss impacts your ability to eat foods such as fruits, vegetables, and meats, presenting yet another challenge to having a healthy diet. Fortunately, Dr. Jeremy K. Ueno uses dental implants to restore your missing teeth and improve your appearance.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are screw-like metal posts that an oral surgeon embeds in your jawbone to offer a strong foundation for artificial teeth. They are an alternative for patients who can’t get dentures or bridgework due to a lack of natural tooth roots. Placing dental implants requires surgery; the surgical approach your surgeon uses depends on the condition of your jawbone and implant type. After the implant is in place, the bone heals tightly around the metal post, creating solid support for your new tooth.
Benefits of dental implants
Dental implants fuse with your jawbone and eventually become part of you. Therefore, they eliminate the discomfort of removable dentures. With dental implants, you don’t have to worry about the inconvenience of removing them, making them an excellent alternative to dentures.
Severe tooth loss usually affects your food choices because chewing may become a problem. Although dentures may help, they tend to slide when you chew food. Fortunately, dental implants are firmly embedded in your jawbone and function like your own teeth, allowing you to eat your favorite foods confidently.
Ill-fitting dentures can make you slur or mumble your words as the teeth slip into your mouth. Dental implants allow you to speak without the fear or worry that teeth might fall.
Who is a good candidate for dental implants?
In most cases, anyone healthy enough to undergo routine tooth extraction or oral surgery can be eligible for a dental implant. You should have adequate bone to support the implant, but advances in diagnostics and bone reconstruction have made it possible for most patients to receive implants. Your gums need to be healthy, so you may need treatment before getting dental implants if you have gum disease. Suitable candidates should also be committed to regular dental visits and good oral hygiene.
Dental professionals caution against implants if you are a chronic smoker or have uncontrolled chronic disorders like heart disease and diabetes. These conditions affect healing and may cause surgical wound complications. If you have had radiation therapy to the head or neck area, you may need further evaluation. Different factors determine if you are a good candidate for dental implants; therefore, if you are considering implants, consult your dentists to know if they are an option for you.
What are the risks of dental implants?
The surgical process of implant placement poses some health risks, but they rarely occur, and when they do, they are easily treated. For example, an infection may develop at the implant site, or surrounding structures like blood vessels and nerves may get damaged. You may also develop sinus problems if an implant in the upper jaw protrudes into your sinus cavities.
Consult your dental professional and Ueno Center Dental Specialists to establish whether implants are suitable for you.