Losing your teeth is traumatic, and has a negative impact on your appearance, your oral and overall health, as well as your self confidence. For years, the only options available for addressing the problems caused by lost teeth was limited to conventional dentures, and dental bridges, which while effective (and still in use today) have many serious drawbacks, including an increased risk of developing infections, limitations in performance (your bite strength) and aesthetics, and the need for constant replacement.
Dental implants, however, have none of these drawbacks; in fact, they’re about as close as you will get to replacing the teeth you have lost with natural teeth! In our Edmond, OK, we offer dental implants and implant-supported dentures to our patients seeking a permanent, zero-compromise, zero-hassle solution to the challenges presented by lost teeth.
Chuck Yeager, the American pilot and general, said of the astronauts who were to make the first manned journey into space that they had “The right stuff”.
While it’s not exactly launching a rocket into space, you do indeed need to have the “right stuff” if you want dental implants. Getting dental implants is a surgical procedure, which means that there are certain criteria that you must meet in terms of your oral and overall health.
Do You Have The Right Stuff?
What does it take to get dental implants? You don’t have to be as healthy as an astronaut, but you need to be well enough to both undergo the necessary surgical procedures to have your implants placed, and your body must be able to support the dental implant, to avoid complications and the rare (but serious) failure of your dental implant.
Keep in mind that these aren’t “requirements” but guidelines. In many cases, patients who aren’t well enough to support dental implants may still get them, provided that the problems that prevented them from getting implants immediately are addressed. Ultimately, only your dentist will be able to tell you if you’re able to get implants (sooner, later, or not at all in a minority of cases).
Who Can Get Dental Implants?
Placing dental implants is an intensive surgical procedure, and you will need to be under general anesthesia for the procedure. Implants get their incredible effectiveness because they are embedded directly into your jawbone, below the gums. Implants are in this sense “true” artificial teeth, complete with artificial roots that function exactly like the real thing!
This means that to get dental implants, you must be able to tolerate general anesthesia. Some people simply don’t mix well with general anesthesia, and complications can be quite serious, and even deadly. Your dentist will want to know if you have ever had a bad experience with anesthesia, as well as get a good understanding of your general health background.
You should also be free of serious diseases and health problems including autoimmune disorders, arthritis, Type II diabetes, and high blood pressure. These conditions can present a threat of serious complications during implant placement, during the healing process, and may threaten the success of your implant. Your dentist will be able to determine the impact, if any, these diseases (and others) will have on your suitability as a candidate.
Only Adult Nonsmokers Need Apply
Only adults can get dental implants because their jaws and bodies are fully developed; teenagers and children are still growing, and a dental implant in a jaw that is still growing is very likely, almost certain to fail. This is because the implant needs a steady foundation of bone to stay firmly in place and to do its job.
Smokers who are interested in getting dental implants are strongly advised to quit the habit. Besides all the well-known health effects caused by smoking, when it comes to dental implants, smoking retards the healing process that is critical to the success of dental implants; your gums need to heal properly, and your jawbone must be able to fuse with the implant as it undergoes osseointegration (literally “coming together with the bone”), which is what makes implants work so well. Furthermore, smoking also contributes to teeth-grinding (bruxism) that will put a lot of stress on your implants, and your remaining teeth as well that can result in serious damage.
Overcoming the Oral Health Hurdle
The leading cause of tooth loss in the US isn’t injury; by far, more teeth are lost due to periodontal disease (gum disease) than any other reason. Gum disease degrades your gums and oral tissues, and your jawbone, which are important in keeping your teeth in place; when they are degraded enough, the tooth comes out. After the tooth is lost, your jawbone will continue to lose bone density.
Bone density in your jawbone must be sufficient to support a dental implant. If it is determined that your jawbone isn’t “strong enough”, your dentist may recommend a procedure known as a bone graft to beef up your jawbone so it can support an implant. A bone graft is the transplantation of bone from one place in your body to another.
Ready to Launch?
Dental implants are your best bet if you want to get your health, smile, and confidence back that have been lost due to missing teeth. You should make an appointment with your dentist to see if dental implants are right for you!
Dial 405-757-2030 or click here to book your appointment right now, online!