June 25, 2019
After a long day of hanging out with some friends, one of them opens their camera app. You’re not a big fan of pictures, but you figure that if you close your lips enough, it will hide the gap in your smile. However, when you see the picture, you just look awkward, and you can still tell that you’re missing a tooth. You’re tired of not being comfortable with the way you look. Dental implants might be an option for you to replace your missing teeth. Keep reading to learn 5 things you should know before getting dental implants.
What Are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is a titanium post that is inserted where the missing tooth is. It is made of biocompatible material that gradually fuses to the jawbone, much like the root of the natural tooth. Then, your dentist will attach a restoration, such as a crown, to the top of the implant so that it looks just like a natural tooth. Implants are durable and meant to last a lifetime, unlike bridges or dentures, which have to be replaced every few years. Sounds great, right? Unfortunately, dental implants are not for everyone. There are a few things you need to know before you get one.
How Long Does It Take to Heal After Getting an Implant?
Healing time varies from person to person, but it can often take months. Sometimes your dentist will extract a tooth that is giving you problems and wait for that to heal before inserting an implant. No matter what, it will take time for the implant to attach itself to your jawbone and become stronger than your natural teeth. The amount of time it takes depends on your overall health.
How Does My General Health Affect a Dental Implant?
If you are generally healthy, you should have no problems with an implant. However, certain health issues, such as HIV/AIDS, uncontrolled diabetes, and other immune diseases, can increase the risk of implant failure. If you have any of these conditions, talk to your dentist as well as your primary care physician about implants. In addition, if you have an allergy to titanium, let your dentist know. They can use another material like zirconium to create the implant.
Can I Get a Dental Implant If I Smoke?
Smokers have a higher risk of implant failure. It takes longer for the mouth of a smoker to heal, and the constant sucking during smoking messes up the healing process. Your dentist will recommend that you quit smoking before receiving an implant and during healing. While you’re at it, why not just quit the habit for good to maintain a healthy smile?
How Often Should I See My Dentist for Checkups?
As with any surgical procedure, follow-up appointments are crucial. Your dentist will make sure that the implant is “taking” to your mouth and that you are taking good care of your oral health. Even if everything feels good to you, your dentist may catch a problem that you wouldn’t have noticed.
Dental implants are the most beneficial solution to missing teeth, but they are not for everyone. If you want to fix the gaps in your smile, talk to your dentist today about whether implants are right for you.
About the Author
Dr. Michael Ryan works with his wife, Dr. Laura Ryan, to provide comprehensive care to their patients in Allen, TX. Dr. Ryan has received specialty training in prosthodontics to reconstruct and replace missing teeth. As a result, he is more than qualified to help you restore your beautiful smile with dental implants. To learn more visit his website or call (972)-727-5001.