Dental implants are the most advanced teeth replacement solution that we have today. However, some patients are not aware of the conditions that they must qualify for a dental implant procedure. So, aside from weighing your thoughts about the cost, you should also consider the right time to get your dental implants.
Getting a tooth replacement goes beyond having a missing tooth. Above your needs, you and your dentist will also consider your capability to heal and adapt to your dental implant. In this post, we will share how a dental implant works and when is the best time to get it.
What are dental implants?
A dental implant is a screw-like post placed in your jawbone to replace your tooth root. A dental crown that mimics your natural tooth will be placed on top of the implant. It is a permanent tooth replacement solution that feels and looks like a real tooth.
Unlike dentures, you no longer need periodic denture adjustments or experience any embarrassing scenarios like a denture falling off. Though the crown on top of the implant is artificial, you still need to care for it like a natural tooth.
How do they work?
First, your dentist will evaluate and strategize a treatment plan for you through a series of x-rays. Once you are qualified, your dentist will schedule your implant surgery. During the procedure, local anesthesia will be provided to manage the pain.
Your dentist will place the post on top of your jawbone to let the bone cells attach to it. The healing process after the surgery will be 6 to 12 weeks. The healing period helps the bone cells attach the titanium post to the jawbone and securely put it in place. Once the post is attached to your jaw, your dentist will place the abutment that will hold the dental crown.
The impressions of the abutment will be taken by measuring your bite and the shape of the tooth based on its location. The final procedure is the placement of your dental crown.
When is the best time to replace your missing tooth with a dental implant?
Putting the costs aside, it can be easy to be torn between investing in a dental implant or going the quick route with removable dentures. While dentures are non-invasive and significantly cheaper than dental implants, they have their own set of maintenance and adjustment periods.
On the other hand, a dental implant requires a surgical procedure and a recovery time to attach the titanium post to your jawbone. The procedure may also take several months, but you will not need any adjustments and can just enjoy your new permanent tooth after that. If you’re leaning toward the idea of investing in a dental implant, the best time to get it is as follows:
Your jawbone is fully developed
Age is one of the criteria that qualify a patient for a dental implant procedure. You must reach full skeletal maturity before a dental implant procedure to ensure that your jawbone has stopped growing.
Prematurely attaching an implant into a growing jawbone can affect its development leading to bone loss and physical changes in your craniofacial structure. It is the reason why patients under 18 are not eligible for a dental implant procedure.
You are in good health
Your health condition is one of the most crucial criteria that will qualify you for a dental implant. Since the procedure involves maxillofacial surgery, your healing capacity will be an essential gauge for the success of the procedure. While you are healthy and free from any chronic illness, you may grab the opportunity to have a dental implant.
Patients with diabetes and leukemia may have difficulty healing and recovering from the dental implant procedure due to their weakened immune response and higher risk for complications.
You have enough bone structure to support the post
If you recently had a missing tooth or teeth and chose to replace them immediately, you have a higher chance of having enough bone structure for the implant. Leaving the gaps in your smile for a long time will cause bone resorption or bone loss in your jaw.
The force from your tooth when you chew or bite sends signals to your cells to keep the bone strong. Once the stimulation from your bite force is lost, your jawbone will start to weaken and recede. Patients with gum disease or periodontal disease may also have weakened gum tissue and bone structure that makes them unfit for dental implant treatment.
In some cases, oral surgeons use a bone grafting procedure to stimulate the jawbone and let the bone grow back to its old form and increase the success rate of implant treatment.
You want to stabilize your lower dentures or support your dental bridge
The best time to consider getting an implant also comes when it is needed for another treatment. A dental implant may be a worthwhile investment when you have no natural tooth to support your dental bridge and replace missing teeth.
Implant-supported dentures are another type of implant that may relieve the hassles of shifting dentures and denture adhesives and serve as a denture stabilizer.
You’re looking for a permanent solution for missing teeth
When it comes to long-term savings, dental implants are worth the investment over time. You no longer need to replace the titanium post as long as you have good oral health and experience no complications.
Also, your oral hygiene will not significantly change and will remain the same as for your natural teeth. Convenience-wise, a dental implant is the best solution for tooth loss that does not demand too much maintenance, unlike other removable dental appliances.
Get a permanent solution for your missing tooth at Meramec Family Dentistry
Relive the feeling of having your natural teeth with dental implants. Our dental team will guide you on your journey towards a healthy and beautiful smile. Meramec Family Dentistry provides dental implants in Arnold, MO. Schedule an appointment or contact us today!