Are Dental Implants Right For You?

The loss of a single tooth or many teeth due to decay, disease, or trauma can negatively impact your self-esteem and compromise your overall dental health. When a tooth is lost, the remaining teeth shift toward that open space. This can lead to a ‘bad bite’ or malocclusion that can affect how you eat and speak. It can also lead to other problems like abnormal wear and tear on the teeth that can put the remaining teeth at risk for loss.

A dental implant is an artificial tooth root made of titanium that is surgically anchored into the jawbone to hold a replacement tooth crown in place. Instead of relying on neighboring teeth for support like a bridge or partial denture, a dental implant doesn’t need any neighboring teeth for support and it’s strong, stable, permanent, and natural looking. Implants are an excellent solution to tooth loss because they look, feel, and function just like natural teeth.

Who Is The Ideal Candidate For Dental Implants?

If you are in good overall health, chances are that you are a good candidate for this type of tooth replacement. Some conditions that can affect your candidacy for dental implants include:

  • Diabetes
  • Gum disease
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Certain medications used to treat osteoporosis
  • Atrophy in the jawbone

When you see a Las Vegas dental implant specialist, you will be provided with a thorough examination followed by a discussion to determine whether or not you’d make a good candidate for dental implants.

If you are deemed a good candidate, you should know that the implant procedure typically occurs in stages. First, the implant will be secured in your jawbone. Then after a few weeks of healing time, the jawbone will have bonded to the titanium implant, ensuring it remains secure. This is when a natural-looking, artificial tooth top or crown will be securely placed on the implant to complete the procedure. Once your implant procedure is finished, you can enjoy eating all the foods you love while looking and feeling your best.

Factors That Can Reduce The Success Of Dental Implants

While the majority of dental implants are complete successes, sometimes dental implants fail due to certain health conditions. For instance, peri-implantitis is a bacterial infection in the bone surrounding the implant. This infection can lead to bone loss, abscessing, and failure of the implant. However, peri-implantitis can be avoided with proper implant care.

People with a history of bruxism or clenching and grinding of the teeth may also be at risk for implant failure. This is due to the force created by the clenching and grinding of the teeth that can cause the implant to shift, especially if the implant is relatively new. However, a simple solution that can prevent this condition from damaging an implant is wearing a special mouth guard to protect the implant from harm.

People suffering from heart disease and Type 2 diabetes also run a slightly higher risk for implant failure, but if these illnesses are kept under control with medication via living a healthy lifestyle, patients with these conditions may still be able to benefit from dental implants.

People who smoke are also at greater risk for dental implant failure. Smokers are prone to post-implant procedure infection because smoking lowers blood and oxygen flow to the surgical site.

Your Las Vegas dental implant specialist will talk with you about any health problems you may have at your initial consultation. This is why it’s very important to share any medical problems (or smoking habits) you have at this important first appointment.

To learn more about dental implants and to find out if you’re a good candidate for implant dentistry, contact us today to set up an appointment time.