If you’re missing teeth, you might be wondering whether dental implants are the best way to rebuild your smile. After all, they’re far more beneficial than other options like dentures and bridges. While a dentist is the person best qualified to determine whether dental implants in Greeley are right for you, there are a few basic characteristics that can help you figure out whether you’re a good candidate. Here are five of them.
1. You Have Healthy Gums
Dental implants are even more vulnerable to gum inflammation than natural teeth. If plaque builds up and causes an infection, bacteria can weaken the gum tissue as well as the bone holding the implant in place. For implants to succeed, they need to stay firmly rooted in your jawbone.
2. You’re Committed to Oral Hygiene
The best way to avoid an infection that could compromise your implants is sticking to a good dental hygiene routine. Just like natural teeth, your implant restorations need to be brushed twice a day. Flossing and rinsing with mouthwash daily can remove food debris and plaque from hard-to-reach areas of your mouth.
3. You Have a Strong Jawbone
The success of dental implants depends on their ability to create a long-lasting bond with your jawbone. If you’ve been missing teeth for a while, your jawbone may have shrunk since your tooth roots are no longer there to stimulate it. Fortunately, that doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t get implants. You might just have to undergo a bone graft first.
4. You Don’t Have Any Chronic Diseases
Chronic illness can interfere with the success of dental implants. For example, diabetes comes with a slightly higher rate of implant failure. The condition, especially when it’s poorly controlled, slows down healing as well as the process of the implant fusing to your jawbone.
Other chronic disease can complicate implant placement surgery. Sleep apnea and heart disease can interfere with anesthesia. Bruxism (teeth grinding) can delay or prevent healing.
5. You Don’t Smoke or Drink Excessive Amounts of Alcohol
Frequent alcohol consumption can cause dry mouth and inhibit blood clotting, both of which interfere with healing after implant surgery. Tobacco use reduces blood flow to the mouth, slowing the healing process and increasing the risk that the implants won’t fuse to the jawbone. You’re also much more likely to develop gum disease.
As long as you’re generally healthy and take good care of your mouth, you may be eligible for dental implants. Even if you don’t meet all of the criteria in this post, you might still be able to make changes that increase your chances of implant success. Ultimately, the only way to know for sure is to schedule a consultation with your dentist.
About the Author
Dr. Mark R. Smith is a dentist in Greeley, CO who earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree in 1988 from the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Unlike many general dentists, he doesn’t need to refer patients to an oral surgeon for dental implant placement because he has undergone advanced training to place them himself. To learn whether dental implants are right for you, contact Greeley Complete Dentistry at (970) 356-7474.