Dental implants are considered the best option for replacing missing teeth. Unlike conventional dentures, which rest on top of your gums, or dental bridges, which are supported by adjacent teeth, dental implants are firmly affixed to your jawbone. If your dentist determines that you are a candidate for dental implants, a titanium screw will be implanted into your jawbone. Because titanium is highly compatible with human tissue, the bone will heal around the implant and create a secure foundation for a prosthetic tooth.
Roughly 70 percent of American adults between 35 and 44 have lots at least one tooth as a result of an accident, tooth decay, gum disease or a failed root canal treatment. By the time Americans reach 74, a fourth of them have lost all their teeth. At one time, these individuals would have had few alternatives, but today, most individuals can take advantage from dental implants.
If you are an adult who has lost one tooth, several teeth or all your teeth, your dentist may be able to restore your smile using dental implants. The best candidates are those who enjoy good dental health, do not smoke and who are able and willing to follow their dentists’ recommendations for maintaining dental hygiene and the implant site.
Most who are healthy enough to undergo dental surgery will also be able to have the dental implant procedure. Those who have certain chronic conditions, such as high blood pressure or diabetes, will need to make sure they have their conditions under good control prior to undergoing the dental implant treatment. If you currently have gum disease or tooth decay, your dentist may recommend treating the periodontal disease before having dental implants attached. However, many people with periodontal disease can be good candidates for the procedure.
Smokers can also undergo the dental implant procedure, especially if they are able to quit smoking a few weeks before the procedure and until the implant site heals. Your dentist may have other recommendations as well. Smoking can increase your risk of post-surgery complications, but you may still be a good candidate for the procedure.
Since tooth loss often leads to a loss of jawbone density, many patients may need bone or tissue grafts prior to undergoing the procedure. They can still be successful candidates, though. Kids and individuals whose jawbones are still growing may not be good candidates for the procedure, but your dentist may recommend other options if your child is undergoing orthodontic or other dental procedures.
Dr. Afar, Los Angeles dental implants, can restore your missing teeth using natural-looking dental implants.