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Who is a candidate for dental implants?

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A close-up of a man before and after getting dental implants. The left photo is showing his mouth with missing teeth and the right is a photo of him after getting a dental implant.

There are many reasons and considerations for getting dental implants. If you are someone who is missing various teeth, you are a potential candidate for dental implants. Dental implants can help to relieve some of the pain caused by missing teeth and help your smile to look and feel natural. 

The decision to have dental implants is not a decision to take lightly. Dental implants are a huge commitment and take several months of treatments to go through. This process is quite an invasive procedure and if you think this treatment is right for you, there are some things to consider. Do you:

  • Have one or multiple missing teeth ?
  • Have a jawbone that has reached full growth? The implants will be secured to your bone
  • Have healthy oral tissues ? 
  • Are you not able to wear dentures or not wanting to wear dentures?
  • Don’t smoke tobacco
  • Are able to commit fully to the treatment? 

There are many other reasons that people consider dental implants. Having one of many of your teeth missing is the leading reason as to why you might consider dental implants. Missing teeth can impact more than just your smile. There are other areas of your oral health that are impacted by missing teeth such as:

  • Difficulty chewing and swallowing, which can result in dietary issues and not eating enough
  • Weakened jaw bone and deterioration of muscles
  • Increase risk for other dental problems such as further tooth loss or cavities 
  • Lowered self esteem 

It is important to understand the process of dental implants if this is something that you are considering. Continue reading to look at some of the important things to know before you book your consultation.

The close-up hands of a  dentist is holding a model of the tooth with a dental implant.

How are dental implants done?

Dental implants are false, natural looking teeth that are secured into your jawbone. The procedure replaces the roots of your tooth, or teeth, with screws like posts made of metal. The teeth function and look like normal and will stay firmly in place. 

Your dentist will have an in depth consultation with you to ensure that you meet the requirements for being a candidate. Once your dentist has fully examined your mouth and jawbone and done a full evaluation along with imaging and scanning, the process for placing the screws can begin. 

The dentist will need to drill through your gums into your jawbone. If your jawbone is not able to support this kind of surgery, you will need to have your jawbone augmented. Your dentist will need to add a bone-like structure into your jaw so that the screws will have a place to be secured. This process can take several months as your jaw will need to heal before the screws can be placed. 

Metal, in most cases, titanium screws, are placed into the jaw bone. These screws mimic the tooth’s roots and the jawbone begins to grow around the screws. The screw is later capped to look like a natural tooth. This is the more time consuming part of the process. Depending on how long it takes your body to heal, will determine how long this process can take. For many people, it takes several months as your dentist will need to ensure the healing is complete at each stage. 

If your body takes longer to heal, it could take longer. Speaking with your dentist about your oral health will be the best gauge of how long this process can take. 

Are there risks to having dental implants? 

As with any surgery, there are always risks. Dental implants are invasive and if not treated properly during the healing time, you can develop infections. Some of the risks to consider:

  • Infection – there can be an infection at the site of the implant because of the areas that are exposed
  • Injury and damage – the areas around where the implant will be, could be damaged, such as surrounding teeth and or blood vessels
  • Sinus problems – if you are getting an implant in the top part of your jaw, there is a chance that the screw can break into your sinus cavity 
  • Nerve damage – should the screws hit one of your nerves, you could have damage to the nerves around the area where the screw is being placed

There will be symptoms that you will experience after your surgery that are quite common and can be minorly uncomfortable. You may experience bruising, swelling, minor bleeding and pain at the site of the surgery.

While there are risks with any surgery, your dentist will go over all the risks with you to ensure that you are receiving the best care possible. . 

Will my oral care change drastically with dental implants?

Your dental implants, while not being real teeth, will still require regularly scheduled check ups and exams from your dentist. You will still need to care for your implants as if they are real teeth with regular brushing and flossing. Apart from this, your oral health care routine, once you are fully healed, will not change. If you think that you are a candidate for dental implants, the dentists at Rockwood Dental are here for you. Book a consultation today and our dental professionals will be able to better assess your dental needs.

Written by Rockwood Dental

At Rockwood Dental, our goal is to help you achieve the healthy and beautiful smile you’ve always dreamed of.

Our team is committed to providing a personalized dental experience from beginning to end. To do this, we offer a range of dental services, including preventative dental care, restorative dental care, and cosmetic dental care.

Rockwood Dental is located at #102, 1032 17th ave., between 9th and 10th Street SW in Calgary.

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