Dental Implant Surgery: How to Know if You Qualify
Looking into dental implant surgery? You may want to know if you qualify. Here’s everything you need to know about if this procedure is right for you.
You’re finally ready to fill in those missing gaps in your smile, but are you ready for dental implant surgery now?
More than 500,000 patients receive dental implants per year, but not every case qualifies for the procedure.
Before discussing your eligibility, let’s go over a few common reasons and benefits for this procedure:
- Replaces either a single tooth or multiple teeth.
- Safeguards gums and tissue.
- Retains jawbone and facial structure.
- Provides a long-lasting solution for strong, natural-looking teeth.
- Improves your speech for public speaking.
- Boosts your confidence at work and social gatherings
- Easier to maintain than dentures.
- Implants more comfortable than alternative teeth replacements.
- Eat your favorite foods without removing your teeth.
The best part is that dental implants have a whopping 98% success rate! Plus, with periodic check-ups and care, you can keep your teeth looking great over a long period of time.
High-quality dental implants definitely of their benefits, but it’s important to make sure you qualify for the procedure before moving forward.
You want successful, long-term implants, so let’s discuss what you need to have before undergoing tooth implant surgery.
Have Adequate Bone Density for Dental Implant Surgery
First and foremost, your dentist will analyze your bone density to see if it’s strong enough for surgery.
To illustrate, let’s quickly go over how dental implants work:
- Tooth implants consist of a crown, abutment, and a titanium screw to fix the implant in place.
- Implants are then fused to your jawbone to make sure they’re firmly anchored in place.
- The fusing process can take a few months to fully complete.
- Patients must be mindful about maintaining good hygiene throughout the process.
Moreover, dentists today use endosteal implants for surgery. These implants are strongly anchored into the bone. This means, your bone support must be strong enough to withstand these implants. Poor bone density causes implants to loosen or even fall out completely, costing you more money in the long run.
Be in Decent Health
Your dentist may consider your overall health profile before proceeding with your dental implants.
But isn’t your dental history enough?
Remember that dental implants are indeed a surgical procedure, so the healthier you are overall, the more likely your implants will remain strong and intact for years. That’s why your dentist may ask you the following health questions during your pre-screening:
- Are you a smoker?
- Are you on any current medications?
- Do you drink alcohol? How often do you drink?
- Do you have diabetes?
Dentists ask these questions because smoking, frequent alcohol consumption, possible medications, and diabetes can potentially weaken your gum tissue and bone density.
Be Free of Gum Disease
If you’re in the advanced stages of gum disease, your dentist may postpone your surgery until your gums are up to par.
Remember that tooth implants fuse to your jawbone, and weak gums may cause your implants to shift, move, or even worse, fall out. That’s why you need strong gums to keep your new teeth in place.
To combat and reverse the effects of gum disease, visit a periodontist to receive proper treatment before considering dental implants.
Of course, daily flossing and mouthwash is key to preventing and maintaining healthy gums. Even if you don’t have advanced gum disease, remember to maintain excellent oral hygiene before undergoing surgery.
Don’t Grind or Clench Your Teeth
Jaw clenching, or bruxism, can result from stress, anxiety, sleep, or hyperactivity. If you have the tendency to clench your jaw, now’s the time to pull back, especially if you’re eyeing dental implants in the future.
Bruxism will fracture your teeth if you’re not careful, and that can directly affect the success rate of your dental implants. Try the following tips to reduce your clenching:
- Wear a mouth guard while you sleep.
- 70% of all bruxism cases are attributed to stress. When you feel the urge to clench, try stretching, taking a walk, or getting some fresh air.
- Drink more water daily.
- Decrease your caffeine intake to lower your hyperactivity.
- Stop chewing pencils, pen caps, and gum.
- Be mindful of your clenching throughout the day. When you find yourself clenching, make sure to relax your face.
Seek Treatment Sooner Than Later
It’s true. The longer you wait to get dental surgery, the worse your problem will be.
To save yourself additional tooth pain and costs, visit your dentist at least twice a year. If you’re dealing with more advanced oral issues, however, you may need to visit your dentist three or four times per year.
But can any dentist perform dental implant surgery?
Great question! According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, more than 10% of all dentists in the U.S. offer restorative surgery.
This type of procedure can be performed by any board-certified, licensed dentist who adheres to the standard best practices for tooth replacements. Dentists trained in jawbone surgery can also perform this procedure as well.
However, dental practices with implant services will often refer patients to an on-site oral surgeon or periodontist.
Oral surgeons, or oral maxillofacial surgeons, specialize in treating hard and soft mouth tissue, as well as any serious oral issues like tooth extractions and jaw realignment surgeries.
As you learned earlier, a periodontist specializes in treating your gums and any gum-related diseases and conditions. They too make excellent dental implant surgeons as well.
Dentists and technicians will often work together to anchor your dental implants into your jawbone and fuse their crowns.
Dental implants can provide you with the confidence you need to smile again, eat food without worry, and maintain strong, natural looking teeth for a lifetime.
But the last thing you want is faulty dental implants.
Let’s recap what you need for a successful surgery:
- Good bone density.
- Good health overall.
- Healthy gums, oral hygiene, or free from advanced gum disease.
- Stop grinding your teeth and clenching your jaw.
- Don’t wait to seek treatment.
So you think you qualify for dental implant surgery?
Stop putting off your dental worries and consult with a reputable dentist today to discuss the right implant treatment for you.