You can replace just one tooth, or all 32, with dental implants. They are the preferred solution today for replacing missing teeth, and almost anyone can be a candidate for dental implants. Infrequently, though, a medical condition or other circumstance may make installing implants problematic.
Usually, you will be considered a candidate for dental implants if your jawbone is in good shape, your gums are healthy, and are a non-smoker. If you do smoke, you will need to stop during the implant surgery, and for several months afterward while healing takes place.
How Complex is the Procedure?
The implant surgery itself is not complicated. It simply involves your dentist inserting a titanium screw into your jawbone. The screw is used to anchor a crown, or a series of crowns. The healing process takes a fair bit of time, though, because the implant needs to fuse to your jaw. This usually takes anywhere from four to eight months, but sometimes can require as much as a year. You are a good candidate for dental implants if you are willing to commit to the time involved. If you are not, then you might want to consider other alternatives, like dentures or bridge work.
What about Health Issues?
In order to be a candidate for dental implants, your gums have to be in good shape. There is no point at all to installing implants in a patient who has gum disease, since the implants will almost certainly fail. As soon as your gum disease has been effectively treated, though, you can be a candidate for dental implants.
Some types of cancer, and uncontrolled diabetes, can also make you a poor candidate for dental implants. Additionally, if you have undergone radiation treatments to your head or neck, implants are ill-advised.
Generally speaking, most people can have dental implants. Being able to chew and bite the same way you would with your natural teeth is a huge benefit. Really, the only downside to dental implants is the fact that dental insurers do not cover them. However, if that is not an issue for you, you are likely a good candidate for dental implants.
Would you like to find out if you are a candidate for dental implants? Call L’Enfant Plaza Dental Arts at 202-488-8300, or request a consultation using the form on our Contact Us page. We are located at 490 L’Enfant Plaza SW #8210, Washington, DC 20024, and we look forward to seeing you.