I Have Missing Teeth: Am I A Candidate For Dental Implants

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You’ve been searching for ways to restore your smile to its former glory when you came across dental implants procedure. You learned that this is the most popular treatment people choose to replace their missing teeth. This is because they find these teeth replacements more natural, secure and stable than dentures. 

Not all people are good candidates for dental implants, though. But the good news is, it’s easy to know if you’re a candidate for the procedure. Stick around as we share 3 simple steps to identify if dental implants are fit for you.

What are Dental Implants?

In the procedure of placing implants, a crown is placed in the gap left by your missing teeth. It’s similar to fixed bridges, only there’s no need to remove potentially healthy teeth to make way for them.

The implants fuse to your jawbone to make the teeth replacement as stable as your natural teeth. When it has been attached to the jawbone, it would serve as the root of the crown.

How do I know if I am a Candidate for Dental Implants?

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There are plenty of factors at play in determining if you’re a good candidate for this dental procedure. Not to mention there’s a dental implant protocol to be followed before you’re given permission to undergo the treatment. For more info visit g4bygolpa.com.

It’s also more expensive than other available teeth replacement procedures, but you can discuss your financial options with your dentist to proceed with the treatment.

Anyways, here are 3 steps you need to keep in mind to learn if you’re a good candidate for this dental treatment:

1. Evaluate your teeth and your overall condition and capability for the procedure

Here are a number of situations where you may fall as a good candidate for a dental implant:

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You’re missing multiple teeth
Your jawbone is intact and healthy. Your jawbone would serve as an anchor for the implants, so they need to be intact. If you have lost bone in your jaw, you can still opt for the treatment, but you’ll need to wait longer to heal your broken jawbone.
You have good oral health
You experience difficulties while eating and speaking
You’re not fit for dentures, or you don’t like wearing dentures
You don’t have other occurring health conditions that could worsen due to the surgery and healing of your bones
You’re willing to commit to several months to complete the whole procedure
You’re not a heavy smoker
You’re not pregnant
You’re not alcoholic
You’re not undergoing radiation treatment, especially on the head or neck

Even if you’re experiencing issues with your health or lifestyle, you may still be eligible for dental implants. It depends on the severity of your condition. It’s best to consult your dentist for a more professional evaluation.

Are elderlies still good candidates for this teeth replacement option?

It depends. Age is not a major factor to determine if you’re a candidate for dental implants. As long as you (or an elderly you know) are in good shape, or if you fit the list above, you can still opt for them, no matter the age.

2. Consult your dentist

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If you feel like you’ve hit plenty of the factors mentioned above, the next step is to visit your dentist for an initial consultation. You can either consult a prosthodontist, a specialist in the restoration or replacement of lost or damaged teeth, or a general dentist who also specializes in dental restorations and placements .

During the consultation, your dentist would perform a dental exam, where s/he’ll evaluate the condition of your teeth, gums, and jaw. They’ll review your medical and dental history to see if you have past issues that can affect your possible procedure.

Your dentist will also perform an X-ray of your teeth and teeth impressions. This would help him/her to get an idea of what s/he’ll be working with. The X-ray would show the dentist if you have enough jawbone to hold the implants in place, and what nerves and sinuses to avoid during the surgery.

If the dentist sees you’re an eligible candidate, s/he’ll come up and discuss a treatment plan for you. The plan will cover the steps of the procedure, the timeframe of the whole treatment, and how the outcome would look like after the surgery.

If, however, your dentist sees an issue that would impede the success of the procedure, your dentist may need to perform more preparations to make sure the procedure is a success. For instance, if your dentist found you have a lost bone in your jaw, they may need to perform a bone graft.

3. Undergo bone grafting to prepare your jaw for the surgery

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Bone grafting involves using bone from another source from your body – mouth, hip, or chin – and add it to the missing space in your jaw. The bone could also be from a pig, cow, or a cadaver.

Alternatively, the dentist could also use synthetic material such as calcium phosphate to heal your jawbone.

Depending on how fast the healing time takes, you’ll need to wait four to twelve months before proceeding with the actual treatment

When you’re good to go for the procedure, here’s what you can expect to follow:

Placing of the dental implants

Once you’re fit for the procedure, the next stage would be the actual placing of the implants. It may take an hour or so, but you won’t feel the pain or the long hours since you’ll be asleep during the whole procedure.

Placing of the healing collar

Once the implants are in place, you’ll have to wait for five to seven months for them to fuse and for the jawbone to heal.

After that, a healing collar would be installed on top of the implant to prevent your gums from growing over them and to heal your gums completely.

Placing of the abutment and the crown

When your tissues are healed 100%, your dentist would replace the collar with the abutment, the part that’s screwed on the implant and attaches the crown. A temporary crown would be placed while waiting for your customized crown.

Once the crown is done, the dental professional would place your custom crown, and the procedure is done!