May 25, 2018
If you’re one of the 178 million Americans missing at least one tooth, you’re probably looking for a long-lasting replacement option that looks and feels as natural as possible. If you’ve done much research yet, you know that dental implants in Allen are your best bet!
Not only do implants offer unparalleled stability and function, they can also be used for a wide range of situations. Whether you’re missing one tooth, all your teeth, or something in between, implants can be customized to meet your unique needs. If you’d like to know if you’re a good candidate for implants, the first step is scheduling a consultation. Keep reading to learn four common questions you might hear at your appointment!
How Long Have Your Teeth Been Missing?
When you lose a tooth, your body begins to slowly reabsorb the jawbone where the tooth once was. Over time, this causes your jaws to “shrink,” which may not leave enough bone to support an implant.
A prosthodontist, or a dentist who specializes in solutions for missing teeth, will ask how long your teeth have been missing to get an initial idea of whether you’ve lost much bone mass in your jaws.
If you want to move forward with getting implants, one of the first things that a dentist will do is take detailed images to get an exact idea of your bone density and size.
Thankfully, even if you’ve been missing teeth for a long time and have lost a significant amount of bone, you might still be a candidate for this procedure. Some implant options, such as implant-retained dentures, use smaller, shorter implants that might work for you!
Do You Smoke?
The success rate of implants is around 98%-99% for non-smokers. For smokers, that drops to about 85%. Smoking interferes with the healing process, which is crucial for the implant to integrate, or fuse, with the surrounding jawbone.
There are many tools to help you quit smoking, so don’t hesitate to talk to your medical doctor or a dentist for guidance!
Do You Have Good Hygiene Habits?
While it’s true that dental implants can’t get cavities, they’re still at risk for failing if the surrounding gums and underlying bone aren’t clean and healthy. Your implant needs to have strong supporting structures just like your natural teeth, so it’s still crucial to brush and floss around your implant.
A dentist might also ask if you plan to have regular bi-annual checkups and cleanings, as those visits are a chance to monitor the health of your implant and catch potential problems as soon as possible.
What Medical Conditions Do You Have?
If you have any of the following medical conditions, your dentist may encourage you to postpone getting implants or recommend an alternative:
- Unmanaged Diabetes
- Radiation for Head and Neck Cancer
Remember, none of these conditions automatically “disqualifies” you from getting implants, but they will be important talking points during a consultation!
About the Author
Dr. Michael Ryan is a prosthodontist who offers a wide range of treatment options, including dental implants. He always assesses each patient’s unique needs and goals so he can recommend the best solution for that patient. If you have any questions, he can be contacted through his website or at (972) 727-5001.