Are You A Good Candidate For Dental Implants?

The idea of getting dental implants is one that appeals to many folks who have gaps in their smiles. Whether you're just missing a single tooth or have several missing, it can seem like a great way to regain the confidence you have in your smile. Not everyone is a good candidate for the implant procedure, though. Let's examine whether you may or may not be someone a doctor would be able to provide with dental implants.

Supporting Bone Structure

Teeth sit on top of a structure of supporting bones and ligaments. This configuration allows them some degree of flexibility, and it also makes it possible for the jaw to absorb the shock of chewing without causing irreversible damage.

When teeth are lost or removed, this supporting bone structure begins to atrophy. For some folks, it occurs rapidly. Others will see it happen over many years.

The supporting bone structure is critical because of how dental implants are placed in patients' mouths. A medical-grade metal rod is inserted into a hole in the dental bone area. This acts as a post that a dentist can then mount a dental prosthetic, a fake tooth, to. If there isn't sufficient bone in the area where that post has to go, then you can't get implants.

Healthy Gums

As is common with many medical procedures, putting in dental implants requires some amount of cutting and bleeding. The gums have to be healthy enough to hold up to this and heal in the weeks following the procedure.

One fortunate thing for most candidates is that they've probably had conversations with their hygienist about gum health. If you've lost a tooth or had one removed, there's a very high probability that you have gum disease of some type. Your dentist and hygienist, though, should be able to work with you to get your gums into good shape. This may involve cleanings, and it often involves prescription mouthwashes that are intended to reduce infection and inflammation. An oral cancer screening should be conducted, too.

Sufficient Time

Every implant case represents something a bit different in terms of time. There are all-in-four processes where all the teeth are removed and two to four sets of arches are installed to replace all the missing teeth at once in a single session. Conversely, if you're having several individual implants put in, you may need to go through several sessions to minimize potential adverse impacts from bleeding and inflammation.

To learn more, contact a company like Apollo Dental Center.