Are you interested in dental implants but aren't sure you're a good candidate? Dr. James Bonny, your Salem, UT dentist, explains the requirements for a successful implant procedure.
Dental implants replace your entire tooth
Dental implants are an excellent choice when you want to replace your entire tooth, not just the portion above your gum line. During the implant procedure, your dentist places a titanium post in an opening he creates in your jaw. Over the course of the next several months, the post will bond to your jawbone. When bonding is completed, a crown will be attached to the tooth. In some cases, you may receive the crown immediately.
How can I tell if I'm a good implant candidate?
Your Salem dentist will take X-rays of your mouth and perform a thorough examination before recommending an implant. You will probably be a good candidate if you meet these requirements:
- Strong Jawbone: Since your implant bonds to your jawbone, it's essential that the bone is strong enough to support it. In some cases, you can still have an implant even your jawbone is too shallow or weak, but you'll need a bone graft first. The problem can commonly occur if it's been a while since you lost your tooth because your jawbone tends to weaken and recede when it's not stimulated by tooth roots.
- Healthy Gums: Healthy gums are a must if you want to replace a tooth with a dental implant. If your gums have been affected by gum disease, you'll need to receive treatment before you can undergo the procedure.
- Excellent Oral Hygiene: Although the crown attached to your implant isn't a real tooth, it's still important to keep it clean. Failing to brush and floss around your implant can lead to an infection that can cause it to loosen.
- No Grinding or Clenching: Grinding or clenching your teeth damages your natural teeth and can loosen your implant. Wearing a nightguard while you sleep will help prevent problems with your implant.
- Good Health: Your general health can impact your oral health. If you have a disease or condition, such as diabetes, implant bonding may be affected and you may be slow to heal. Slow healing is also a problem if you smoke cigarettes or are a heavy drinker.
Dental implants offer a long-lasting tooth replacement option. Call Dr. Bonny, your Salem, UT dentist, at (801) 423-2244 to schedule an appointment to learn if you're a good candidate.
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