Dental implants are one of the best restorative dentistry procedures to replace missing teeth from trauma, tooth loss, or tooth extractions. HomeTown Dental at Irving can talk you through the various options available, and what is most suitable for your particular circumstances.
What are Dental Implants?
There are three parts to a dental implant; the implant, which is a titanium screw placed into the jawbone; the abutment, which joins the implant to a dental crown (or dental bridge), and the crown or bridge which take the place of natural teeth. An implant’s purpose is to take the place of a tooth root. Once placed, they integrate with the bone (osseointegration) and form a strong, secure, and permanent base to support a crown or bridge.
Traditional dental implants are typically used to replace one tooth. However, they can support a dental bridge to replace several teeth in a row. Dental implants may also be used with an implant-supported denture. While the implants are permanent, the denture can simply be snapped on and off. A complete arch of teeth can be affixed permanently to just four dental implants, in a procedure called the All-on-4®.
Are Dental Implants Suitable for Everyone?
While many people can benefit from dental implants, there are some circumstances where the procedure may not be suitable. We recommend discussing with us whether you are a good candidate for the dental implant procedure.
Bone loss in the jaw may be a problem for placing dental implants. There are several reasons for bone loss, including advanced gum disease, bone loss after losing a tooth, and habits, including smoking or excessive consumption of alcohol.
Bone loss does not necessarily preclude you from the dental implant procedure, although for single dental implant placement which has to be implanted in an exact area it may be more problematic. If there is no bone to hold the implant, then it cannot be placed. However, there are options such as a bone graft procedure to augment the bone in the area. A bone graft is an additional surgical procedure and will need to be carried out up to a year before the implant procedure to ensure that new bone has grown.
Some implant procedures, such as the All-on-4®, can be placed even with some bone loss. This is partly because the implants are longer for this procedure and placed at a different angle to maximize bone-to-implant contact. However, this is only suitable for patients who have lost all of their teeth.
Some medical conditions, such as diabetes, carry more risk for the successful integration of the implants. Diabetics are prone to gum disease, which may cause a condition called peri-implantitis that could contribute to the loss of the implant. Any medical condition must be well-controlled, and the patient must carry out a fastidious oral hygiene regime to keep the tissues supporting the implants clean and healthy.
Teeth grinding exerts too much stress on teeth. A newly placed implant is at a particular risk of damage from excessive pressure and so it may be that you will have to postpone having a dental implant inserted until you have your teeth grinding habit under control.
We are all aware of the dangers to our health smoking presents. Dental implants are particularly susceptible to failure in smokers because smoking decreases the flow of blood which carries essential nutrients and oxygen required to fight infection and promote healing. Many dentists will not consider placing dental implants in smokers because the failure rate is too high.
If you think you may be suitable for dental implants to restore your missing teeth, contact us at HomeTown Dental at Irving by giving us a call on (682) 204-5777.