If you’ve lost your teeth, you know that it has a much greater impact beyond your appearance. Your self-confidence will take the first hit, but soon other problems will become apparent. You’ll notice that when you eat, it gets harder and harder to chew, to the point where it is so painful it seems impossible. People have a hard time understanding you when you speak; at first, you try “speaking up” but soon it is apparent that there is something strange in how you sound, and how your mouth feels when talk.
Even worse, one lost tooth can lead to another, and another, because your teeth will be even more vulnerable to the infections that cause tooth loss. Your teeth are designed to fit together in a specific way; if this is altered, your teeth can be damaged (cracks, fractures, and so on). This injuries will invite infection, which if unaddressed will cause you to experience the trauma of tooth loss all over again. Additionally, you lose bone density in your jaw in the area of the tooth loss, and without your teeth supporting the shape of your face, your face will start to almost collapse as your nose and chin get closer and closer.
Does this sound familiar? If so, you’ve probably heard by now about how dental implants can almost completely restore your ability to chew and speak (much better than more traditional solutions), provide the necessary support to your face shape and appearance, and give you back your smile without the embarrassing or even dangerous drawbacks of conventional treatments (dentures and dental bridges). If you’re interested in dental implants and what they can do for you, we encourage you to make an appointment with us at our Carmel, IN dental practice.
Not All Contestants Will Win
Dental implants are indeed amazing, and can have a life-changing impact on the lives of those who have lost their teeth, or even have had teeth missing for sometime and are tired of having to constantly replace dentures and bridges that only offer a compromised return to normalcy.
However, you must be in good enough health, both orally and generally, to get dental implants. Dentures and dental bridges are prosthetics that only simulate the appearance of healthy teeth, but provide limited functionality because they are designed to work with the structures of your teeth and oral tissues to stay in place. Dental implants are also a type of prosthesis, but they do much more than simulate natural teeth; they are the closest thing to your natural teeth that dental technology has yet devised, and they work as well as they do because they are surgically implanted, directly into your jawbone.
Because the procedure requires intensive, invasive surgery, you must be well enough to endure the procedure, and you must also be well enough to support the implant successfully (otherwise, the implant will fail).
Are These Requirements?
No, the contents of this post should not be considered requirements, but rather guidelines: everyone is different, with different health needs. Your dentist will need to give you a comprehensive examination that takes into account your whole health history to determine your suitability for implants.
What Your Dentist Will Look For
Your dentist will be looking for warning signs, either present in your body or oral cavity, or in your medical history that might make oral surgery dangerous, or if you’re more likely than others to experience dental implant failure (essentially breakage).
In terms of your general health, your dentist will want to make sure that you are able to tolerate general anesthesia. The procedure requires the implantation of an object directly into your jawbone, beneath the gums; needless to say, you’ll want to be “out” while this is happening. However, some people (for a number of reasons) have difficulty with anesthesia, and may even experience potentially deadly complications. Your dentist will definitely want to know if you’ve had problems with general anesthesia in the past.
You must also be free of serious diseases, or at least have them well under control. Diseases such as arthritis, Type II diabetes, high blood pressure, and certain autoimmune diseases and disorders have a high chance of causing complications before and after your surgery, and may even slow the healing process during your recovery (which is critical to the success of the implant).
Your dentist will also want to check your oral health for any signs of serious disease. This is what most people have difficulty with, because statistically speaking it is most likely their tooth loss was caused by advanced gum disease, which degrades your gum tissue as well as the bone density in your jaw, which must be strong enough to support the implant. It is very possible, through interventions such as a bone graft (the transplantation of bone from one part of your body to another), that the ravages of diseases like gum disease can be overcome, but this must take place before implant surgery can begin.
Are You Ready For Dental Implants?
You will only know for certain after an exam from your dentist at Really Smile; in addition to being an expert in placing dental implants, your dentist is also an expert in restoring failed implants. This is added protection for your health and your investment.
Give us a call at 317-582-0884 or click here to reach our online appointment form.