If you've been diagnosed with gum disease, and you have loose or missing teeth, you need to talk to your dentist about dental implants. One of the many benefits of dental implants is that they're a permanent replacement for your lost teeth, unlike dentures. Dentures provide a replacement for your missing teeth, but they aren't a permanent solution. Not only that, but the constant pressure that dentures place on your jaw can also lead to bone deterioration. Here are a few ways to determine if you're a good candidate for dental implants.
1. Your Jaw Is Fully Developed
If your jaw has fully developed, meaning it's reached full growth, you may be a good candidate for dental implants. Because the dental implants are secured directly to your jaw bone, the dentist will need to ensure that your jaw will not be growing in the future. In most cases, the jaw bone reaches full growth by about the age of 20, sometimes younger.
2. You Have Adequate Jaw Bone
If you've been diagnosed with periodontal gum disease that has lead to the loss of your teeth, chances are good that you've suffered some type of bone loss in your jaw. Luckily, limited bone loss won't prevent you from being a good candidate for dental implants. If your dentist determines that you have adequate bone left in your jaw, you may be a good candidate for implants. If you've suffered substantial bone loss, your dentist may be able to use grafts as a way to increase the bone density in your jaw. If you've suffered bone loss, don't give up your hopes of having dental implants. Instead, talk to your dentist about bone grafts.
3. Your Gum Tissue Is Healthy
If you're considering dental implant surgery, you'll need to have plenty of healthy gum tissue. Your dentist will be able to determine the health of your gums during deep cleanings. Healthy gums help reduce your chances of developing post-operative infections and ensure proper healing following your implant surgery. Talk to your dentist about your gums to make sure that you're a good candidate for dental implants.
4. You Don't Smoke
If you're a smoker, and you're considering dental implant surgery, you need to start a smoking cessation program as soon as possible. Smoking interferes with the healing process and puts you at risk for implant failure. Not only that, but it also increases your risk of infections.
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