Ideal Candidates for Dental Implants

woman smiling while holding a dental implants display at southern Arizona periodontics in Tucson.Dental implants are a modern solution for replacing missing teeth that provide you with a unique alternative to traditional bridges and dentures. With dental implants, small titanium posts are surgically placed into your jawbone and are meant to provide support for your replacement teeth. Your jawbone gradually fuses to the posts, turning them into stable, secure roots. Dental implants are a highly popular, very effective treatment that can be used in some different situations. At Southern Arizona Periodontics, we can help to determine if dental implants are right for you.

You are Missing at least One Tooth

Dental implants are a treatment for replacing missing teeth, providing you with an alternative to traditional bridges and dentures. Treatment is incredibly versatile and can be used to replace a single tooth, multiple teeth, or even an entire arch of teeth. If you need a tooth extraction, dental implants are also discussed as an option to replace the tooth or teeth, that is removed.

Your Jawbone is in Good Condition

While dental implants have a very high rate of success, they depend upon your jawbone for stability. For the implants to be successful, your jawbone needs to fuse with them. This process, called osseointegration, stabilizes the implant posts within your jaw and turns them into the roots that hold your dental restorations securely in place. If you do not have sufficient bone mass, the stability of your implants may be compromised. You may have loose, wobbly posts, and unstable teeth. You may even experience complete implant failure. If your jawbone is determined to be too weak to support the necessary implant posts, this does not mean that you will be stuck with a traditional restoration. You first may need to undergo bone graft surgery to restore strength to your jaw, enabling it to better provide the necessary stability for your dental implants.

You are Healthy

Dental implants require a surgical procedure. To undergo surgery, you must be in good overall health. During your initial consultation, we go over your complete medical history to determine if you have any health conditions that might cause complications during surgery, or during your recovery. Certain medical conditions like heart disease and diabetes do not disqualify you from implant surgery, but these conditions do need to be under control.

During your initial consultation, we also perform a thorough oral exam. If you have any oral health conditions, such as gum disease or cavities, these issues will need to be treated before you can receive your implants. If you have been scheduled for surgery, but begin to feel ill just before your appointment, it is important that you call the office right away. Certain illnesses may require that you be rescheduled to ensure a safe, effective treatment.

You Do Not Use Tobacco Products or Alcohol

Lifestyle habits like smoking and drinking can cause significant issues during the recovery process. Cigarettes and other tobacco products slow your blood flow and reduce the amount of oxygen in your bloodstream. This slows the delivery of essential nutrients to your gums and your jawbone, which can stall healing. Slower healing greatly increases your risk of developing an infection. Smoking can also cause a condition known as dry socket. This is a condition in which blood clots become dislodged, leaving an open space for bacteria to enter, which can then lead to an infection. If you drink, alcohol can also affect the ability of your blood to clot properly. Before undergoing surgery, it is recommended that you quit these habits to help ensure a smoother, safer recovery.

Am I Too Old for Implants?

Many older patients often believe that they are too old to get dental implants. This belief is false. As long as you meet other requirements, you are never too old to enjoy the many benefits that dental implants have to offer. With a thorough consultation, we can help to determine if this treatment is truly the best solution to meet your tooth replacement needs.

If you are missing at least one tooth, dental implants may be the solution for you. For more information, and to find out if you are an ideal candidate for dental implants, call Southern Arizona Periodontics at 520-322-9300 today.