If you have missing teeth you understand the effects on your daily life. From being self conscious about your appearance to difficulty eating, and even speaking, gaps in your teeth can make life less enjoyable. But did you know that missing teeth can also affect your health?
Overtime tooth loss can cause the jaw bone to begin to degenerate causing bone loss which can affect your ability to eat possibly resulting in malnutrition. In addition, bone loss in the jaw will cause your face to have a sunken appearance.
Dental implants are an increasingly popular method for replacing missing teeth. An alternative to full or partial dentures, dental implants are strong and will last for many years. Occasionally dental implants may need to be replaced or retightened due to wear and tear.
Are you a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?
In order for dental implants to be successful, there must be sufficient bone structure to support the implants.
Before deciding if you are a candidate for dental implants your dentist will take x-rays of your jaw and perform an examination to determine if the bone structure is sufficient to perform an implant procedure. The dentist will examine the jawbone to determine if there is enough bone to anchor and support the implants. Patients who have insufficient bone structure may be a candidate for a bone augmentation procedure such as bone grafting to build up the jawbone. Another procedure that may help to increase bone structure is a sinus lift.
Another deciding factor is the overall health of the patient. Patients with uncontrolled diabetes, advanced cancer, or AIDS or HIV may not be a good candidate for dental implants.
Patients who are smokers will be advised that smoking may affect the healing process following the implant procedure.
What is the Procedure for getting Implants?
Typically, dental implants are done in two parts. During the procedure, the dentist or oral surgeon makes a small incision in the gums and a hole is drilled into the bone and the implant is placed in the hole. The incision is stitched closed to allow it to heal. In about three to six months another surgery if done, during this procedure a new incision is made to expose the implant. A healing cap is screwed onto the implant and in a few weeks the healing cap is removed and an abutment that will support the crown is screwed into the implant. The healing time will vary from individual to individual.
The traditional method is done in two separate procedures with a healing time of three to six months between them. The first procedure in traditional method is to make a small incision in the gum where the implant will be placed, a hole will be drilled in bone and the implant is inserted. Typically surgery, healing time and crown fitting will require at least five months for lower implants and six months for upper implants. For patients who require bone augmentation, the procedure time came take a year or longer to complete.
To learn more about Dental Implants call 905.731.1871 today to schedule an appointment with a dentist at Dentistry For You.