What is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant consists of three parts: the post, the abutment, and the crown. The post is a small metal rod which is attached to the jawbone. The crown is the tooth replacement that is custom-made to match the remaining natural teeth. The abutment is placed on top of the post and connects it to the crown.
What is a Dental Implant Procedure Like?
A patient with weak jaw bones or gum tissue will need to undergo bone grafts or gum tissue grafts before undergoing dental implant placement. When the patient has a healthy jawbone and gum tissue, our team will install the posts onto the patient’s jawbone. There will be a waiting period ranging from three to six months, allowing the post to fuse to the jawbone. Once the fusion is complete, the patient will return to our office to install the abutments and crowns.
What Are the Benefits of Dental Implants?
Dental implants are permanent fixtures, practically eliminating the risks of them moving unexpectedly, falling out, or being lost or misplaced. Oral care for dental implants is the same as oral care for natural teeth: brushing twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush, flossing daily, and rinsing routinely. Dental implants also prevent additional jawbone loss.
What Risks Are Associated with Dental Implants?
Dental implant procedures carry a minuscule risk of infection which can complicate procedures or affect the surrounding teeth and gums. Patients will face noticeable pain for several days after the procedure, though over-the-counter anti inflammatories can help blunt the pain. There are rare instances where a patient’s body rejects part or all of a dental implant; rejection issues may be resolved by using alternate materials which the patient’s body is more likely to accept.
Who Is a Candidate for Dental Implants?
Dental implants are a permanent, low-maintenance replacement for missing teeth. However, not every patient can benefit from dental implants because they require a baseline level of health and a commitment to good oral care. Our team at Oak Park Dental can determine the best tooth-replacement solution for our patients with missing teeth or heavily-damaged teeth.
What Are the Requirements to Receive Dental Implants?
Dental implant candidates must have strong jawbones to hold the implants in place. Patients suffering from jawbone loss may be eligible for bone graft surgery to restore their jawbone mass. Candidates must have sufficient gum tissue to anchor the dental implants; gum tissue implants may help patients with receding or damaged gum lines qualify for dental implants. Patients who have not fully developed their jawbones should not seek dental implants. Medical conditions such as pregnancy and oral health conditions that endanger a patient’s teeth and gums can disqualify a patient from receiving dental implants. The patient should also have a good oral health routine; caring for a dental implant is the same as caring for a natural tooth, so regular brushing, flossing, and rinsing are requirements for maintaining dental implants.
Disqualifiers for Dental Implants
Patients under the age of 18 should not get dental implants because their jawbones are not completely formed; the implant can interfere with natural development and cause problems with the rest of the mouth. Pregnant women should wait until they have given birth to receive dental implants to ensure the safety of the fetus.
Tobacco usage and smoking weakens the mouth and renders it unlikely to accept and maintain a dental implant. Alcohol and substance abuse is another disqualifier due to the damage both issues inflict upon the mouth. Patients who have undergone high doses of radiation may have weakened jaws that would render their jaw unable to hold the implant in place. And certain chronic illnesses that compromise a patient’s ability to heal or to recover from other diseases may prevent us from recommending dental implants; patients should notify us if they have cancer, hemophilia, autoimmune disorders, osteoporosis, or diabetes.
Alternatives to Dental Implants
Patients who do not qualify for dental implants have other options for replacing missing teeth. If the teeth have not yet been extracted, they might be able to be saved with a combination of root canals and crowns.
If the teeth are in danger of falling out because of problems with the gums, treating the gums with gum grafts and other treatments can save both the gums and the teeth. Certain types of dental bridges can use some of the remaining natural teeth as anchors to remain in place as they fill the tooth gaps. Dentures are a viable option for patients who have lost an arch of teeth or all of their teeth.
Full-mouth dentures can help patients who need to replace all of their teeth, while partial dentures focus on a specific area of the mouth. Despite the benefits of dental implants, they are not the best solution for every patient. Our team at Oak Park Dental will examine every patient and case on an individual basis to diagnose the patient’s problems and suggest solutions that have the highest chances of restoring the patient’s oral health.
Our professionals at Oak Park Dental are ready to answer any questions you have about dental implants and the benefits of dental implants or any other aspect of oral health care. Because patients have a variety of factors, traits, and medical issues that make them unique, patients should not hesitate to ask us questions and have us evaluate their oral health.
Call us at (971) 600-0211 to schedule a consultation or a dental exam.