Millions of adults suffer from tooth loss. They can experience oral dysfunction, dissatisfaction with their smile aesthetics, and a high risk of further dental problems when they have missing teeth.
Fortunately, a dentist can help their patients replace one or more lost teeth through targeted tooth replacement. They can find the most comprehensive benefits if they choose to replace lost teeth with dental implants.
However, not every patient can qualify for implant dentistry. A dentist will need to consult with the patient and consider their oral health goals as well as their existing dental structure to determine their eligibility for this treatment. Read on to discover three characteristics a dentist will look for in an ideal dental implant candidate.
Patients Seeking Long-Term Tooth Replacement
Dentists consider dental implants to be permanent tooth replacement solutions because the treatment relies on titanium post anchors that they surgically place in the jaw. They fuse with the jawbone to provide long-lasting support for prosthetic teeth which then cannot be removed from the mouth.
So dental patients must desire this long-term treatment to replace their missing teeth in order to benefit from dental implants. Some patients might prefer the flexibility that comes with removable tooth replacements like dentures. They can take out these appliances when not needed, such as during sleep, which can feel comfortable.
Discuss your preferences with your dentist. The dentist will also tell you the pros and cons of each restorative solution that can address your tooth loss.
Patients with Healthy Gums and Jawbone
In order for the fusion process of the anchor in the dental implant to occur successfully, you must possess enough healthy gum tissue and jawbone. But gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss, which can leave you with receding gums and damaged tissue. And missing teeth can decrease stimulation to the jawbone which will cause the bone to deteriorate.
A dentist will evaluate your dental health, including jawbone and gum structure, during a consultation appointment. They will take x-rays to reveal the interior of your smile and jaw.
If you lost too much jawbone or gum tissue, you might need extra treatment, like a gum graft or bone graft, to rebuild the dental structure. Then it might support the dental implant. Otherwise, you might need to pursue alternative tooth replacement options.
Patients Willing to Exhibit Patience in the Implant Dentistry Process
Implant dentistry involves a multi-step process that includes three or more visits to your dentist’s office over the course of several months. You will need to attend a consultation before treatment, an oral surgery to place the anchors, and then a placement procedure for the dental prosthetics.
You can anticipate downtime as you recover from the anchor placement surgery. And you will need to exhibit patience and commitment to the process in order to successfully receive the implants.
It helps to focus on your end goal: permanent tooth replacement. Though it may take some time and discomfort, you will see lasting, durable, beautiful dental restoration at the treatment’s conclusion.