If you are missing a tooth in your mouth and are tired of living without it, you could visit a dentist to find out if a dental implant would be right for you. Dental implants are permanent and strong, and they look like real teeth; however, they are not always an option. Certain conditions can hinder your ability to get a dental implant, and a dentist that specializes in dental implants will be able to determine if this is the right option for you. Here are two conditions that can affect this process and your eligibility of getting dental implants.
There Is Not A Sufficient Amount Of Bone
Getting a dental implant is a two-step process, and the first step involves placing the actual implant in your jawbone. One this is done, your jawbone will grow over and around it, which will lock it into place. This process is only possible if you have enough jawbone in your mouth. If your mouth lacks a sufficient amount of jawbone in this area, it will not be able to fuse over the implant, which could lead to a failure of the implant.
There is a way around this condition, however, which involves bone grafting. Bone grafting is a process that requires adding more bone to the area that needs it. This extra bone can be taken from your body, or artificial bone can be used to accomplish this. If this is needed, it will cost more for the procedure, and it could take longer to have the entire process completed.
One of the best ways to ensure there is enough bone in this area is to get the implant shortly after permanently losing a tooth. As the gap in your mouth survives without a tooth there, it will naturally begin to lose bone mass. The longer you wait, the greater your chance will be that you will need a bone graft in order to get a dental implant.
Bone mass loss can also be a result of gum disease, alcoholism, diabetes, and poor oral care habits. In addition, if you are a smoker, you may also run into problems getting a dental implant.
You Are A Smoker
Smoking is not only bad for your health, but it can also be a condition that prevents you from getting a dental implant. The first thing to understand is that smokers have a higher chance of developing gum disease. Therefore, if you currently smoke, you may already have issues with your gums and bone mass in your mouth, but this is not the only problem.
Smokers also have a higher chance of:
- Developing an infection – It is very important for a dental implant to heal properly if you want it to take, and infections can prevent this from happening. Smokers are more likely to get infections than non-smokers, which is one of the reasons smoking and dental implants do not mix.
- Failed implant – Smokers also have a higher risk of having an implant fail. This is partly because of the increased risk of infection, but it is also because a smoker's body does not heal as fast as a non-smoker.
If you smoke, you may still be able to get a dental implant; however, your dentist may require that you stop smoking for a certain length of time prior to the procedure.
Dental implants can be the perfect solution for many people, but they are not right for everyone. Before you decide that you want to get a dental implant, you may want to schedule an appointment with a dentist to find out if this would even be a good option for you. If it is not, your dentist can help you choose an option that would work well for your situation. For more information, contact an experienced dentist like Dale D. Lentz DDS.