What is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is a titanium post designed to replace missing teeth. The post is surgically placed into the jawbone where the tooth is missing, and provides a more permanent solution.
At A Great Smile Arizona, we are experts in the placement of dental implants in Tempe, AZ. Even if you think you may not be a suitable candidate, we have a range of solutions to suit your circumstances and will be happy to give you a thorough assessment of the options available to you.
Since 1965, when the first dental implant was placed in a human, the popularity of the treatment has grown exponentially in recent decades and it is now one of the most popular methods of tooth replacement available.
It is little wonder as it provides a permanent, fixed solution to a missing tooth and to all intents and purposes, acts, looks, and feels the same as a natural tooth.
Am I a Candidate for Dental Implants?
While the treatment is a great success, not everyone is a suitable candidate for dental implants
However, this does not mean that you will be precluded from the treatment if you don't fit the criteria, as there may still be dental implant placement solutions open to you if you seek the advice of one of our specialists.
Some of the areas that may be an issue for the placement of dental implants include bone loss, health issues, and smoking.
A dental implant requires a good degree of volume in the jawbone for successful osseointegration. This is where the implant and bone fuse together, forming a durable and secure footing to support a dental crown (which serves as the artificial tooth).
For some dental implant procedures, such as the All-on-4® Treatment Concept, some degree of bone loss may not be a problem if the implants are placed where there is healthy bone in the jaw.
However, for traditional, single dental implants, if you have bone loss where the implant needs to be positioned, this is an issue.
Fortunately, all is not lost, but it will require a further procedure in the form of a bone graft to augment the bone prior to the dental implant placement.
Bone grafting procedures in dentistry are common, and it will take three to 12 months after a bone graft before your bone is ready to receive a dental implant.
You will require good, general health to be suitable for a dental implant. Thus, some chronic diseases may make you a riskier candidate.
People with diabetes, for example, have a greater tendency toward gum disease. This could affect the soft tissues around a dental implant and lead to a condition called peri-implantitis, which is an inflammatory disease that causes bone loss around dental implants.
We will want to ensure your diabetes is well controlled and you must be prepared to carry out a rigorous oral regime. This regime includes twice-daily brushing and flossing, particularly around the implants along with regular check-ups at the dentist to safeguard your oral health.
Oxygen and nutrients, which are essential to maintain healthy cell growth and fight infection, are delivered around the body in the blood. Smoking inhibits blood flow, which is particularly critical when dental implants have initially been placed.
Any disruption to the process of osseointegration could lead to the implants being compromised, ultimately leading to failure and their removal.
What Are the Benefits of Dental Implants?
While patients often want to know if they will be a candidate for dental implant placement, the next most common question, (Dental Implants FAQ
), we receive is in regard to the benefits of dental implants
Dental implants have many benefits over other tooth restorations, including the fact that dental implants are permanent, need no special cleaning, cannot be easily broken, and can be placed in one visit.
Are Dental Implants Permanent?
Dentures need to be removed at night to be cleaned. They also have to be attached to your mouth, and it is possible for them to become loose or to shift around. With dental implants, these are not concerns at all. They are permanent in your mouth.
There Are No Special Cleaning Requirements with Dental Implants
Dental implants are cleaned in the same way you would clean your natural teeth. Simply brush them twice a day and floss daily. You can use mouthwash if you like as well.
Even though the crowns of your dental implants cannot be damaged by plaque and bacteria in the same way that natural teeth can, you still need to keep them clean.
First, the bacteria on your implants can make its way down to your gums, leading to gum disease. Second, your dental implants can stain. Brushing will prevent this from happening. Flossing removes bacteria that have made its way between the crowns, preventing it from getting to the gums.
Dental Implants Cannot Be Easily Broken
Dentures can accidentally be broken when they are removed for cleaning. If you drop them on your bathroom counter or on the floor, they may break.
This means you may have to go without them until we are able to either repair or replace them. Since you do not have to remove your dental implants for cleaning, there is less of a risk of damaging them.
That is not to say that dental implants cannot be damaged. It is possible to break the crowns. However, they are made from very durable material and cannot easily be damaged.
Dental Implants Can Be Placed in a Single Visit
With the All-On-4 Treatment Concept, we can offer you dental implants where we can avoid bone grafts, which can take longer to heal and could limit us to the use of removable prostheses for a long time.
By placing implants in native bone (without grafts), we increase the stability of that implant, making it possible for the temporary restoration to be placed the same day as the surgery.
Contact Us to Find Out More About Dental Implants
Discover more about whether you are a suitable candidate for dental implants by getting in touch with us at A Great Smile Arizona. You can also call us with questions at (480) 672-0007.