Dental implants are a great way to replace missing teeth. These unique implants are rooted into the jaw and become just like real teeth. Unlike dentures and other teeth replacement options, you don't need to do anything special to care for your dental implant (with the exception of regular dental checkups). You'll have your normal smile again and have a strong, firm bite.
At this point you might be wondering if dental implants are a valid option for you. You should consult your dentist for a precise recommendation. Until then, there are a few requirements for being able to receive dental implants.
Who Can Receive a Dental Implant?
Generally speaking, anyone who is healthy enough to receive routine oral surgery will be a great candidate for a dental implant. The jawbone must be strong enough to receive an implant, and the gums should be healthy. Prior to agreeing to receive an implant, patients should also commit to regular dental care as well as frequent visits.
Some situations require special consideration by a dentist as they can complicate the surgery or the extended health of the implant. These situations are:
- Heart disease
- Patients who have undergone radiation therapy
If you find yourself in one of these situations, that doesn't mean you are ineligible to receive a dental implant. Your situation will be evaluated on a case by case basis and you may still be eligible.
What is Involved with Getting a Dental Implant?
Once you've been determined as an eligible patient for a dental implant, your dentist will craft an individual treatment plan for you. This plan discusses your specific treatment needs. The plan isn't just crafted by your dentist, but by oral surgeons and other specialists that will be performing the operation.
After the plan has been crafted, the procedure will begin. The first step is to install a small titanium post into the jaw. As this post begins to heal, it grows around the titanium post and is secured within the jaw. The healing process of this step alone can be five to eleven weeks. After the post has been bonded to the jaw, a small connector is implanted into the post. This connects the tooth securely to the jaw itself.
A new model tooth is created based on an existing tooth so that it is as close to being realistic as possible. The new tooth, which is called a crown, is attached to the small connector and to the titanium post.
Now that you understand who is eligible for this procedure and a brief outline of what it entails, you can decide if this procedure is right for you.