Are You a Candidate for Dental Implants?
Suffering from tooth loss causes several significant issues. One of the most obvious effects of tooth loss is the impact that it has on your smile. Tooth loss affects your abilities to bite and chew. This can lead to issues with proper digestion, which can then impact your overall nutrition. You may develop a lisp or have other issues speaking properly. Tooth loss also impacts the health of your jaw, leading to bone loss. Dental implants are one of the most popular treatments for replacing missing teeth. This treatment uses small titanium posts, which are surgically placed in your jawbone, to support your replacement teeth. At Anchorage Dental Associates, we provide dental implants to meet many different needs. Before placing implants, though, we first need to make sure that you are a good candidate.
You are Missing Teeth
Dental implants are a treatment meant to replace missing teeth, providing you with a modern alternative to traditional bridges and dentures. Implants are incredibly versatile and can be used to replace a single tooth, multiple teeth, or even an entire arch.
You are Healthy
To receive dental implants, you need to undergo a surgical procedure. During this surgery, we make incisions in your gums and drill holes into your jawbone to place titanium posts inside. For treatment to be successful, you have to heal properly. Before you receive dental implants, we go over your medical and dental history as well as thoroughly examine your mouth. If you have any existing oral health issues, like decay or gum disease, these issues need to be treated first. If you have any chronic medical conditions, like heart disease or diabetes, these conditions need to be under control. Otherwise, these conditions can cause complications, both during surgery as well as during recovery.
You Do Not Smoke or Drink
Tobacco products and alcohol can also interfere with how you heal. Excessive alcohol can interfere with clotting. Tobacco products, such as cigarettes, can slow blood flow and limit oxygen levels in your blood. These issues can significantly slow your ability to heal, greatly increasing your risk of developing an infection or other complications. Smoking can also cause a condition known as dry socket. This condition occurs when a blood clot becomes dislodged, leaving the site vulnerable to bacterial invasion. Before undergoing implant surgery, it is highly recommended that you quit these habits, or at least abstain until after you have healed completely.
Your Jawbone is in Good Condition
Dental implants rely on your jawbone for success and stability. However, following tooth loss, your jaw begins to lose bone mass. If there is not enough mass, your jawbone cannot properly fuse to the posts, which can result in loose implants or implant failure. This does not mean that implants are not possible. A bone graft may be performed before implant placement. This surgical procedure restores missing bone mass, restoring the strength of your jawbone so that it can more successfully hold your dental implants. If you are missing an entire arch of teeth, we may be able to use an alternative treatment, such as All on 4, which can help to avoid the need for a bone graft.
Am I Too Old?
Often, older dental patients think that they are limited only to traditional treatments for replacing missing teeth. They mistakenly believe they are too old for dental implants. You are never too old to enjoy the many benefits that dental implants have to offer. With a thorough consultation, we can help to determine if dental implants are right for you.
Dental implants restore the functions of your missing teeth, allowing you to eat and speak normally. They are also the only replacement option available that stops bone loss in your jaw. Call Anchorage Dental Associates today at (907) 885-3666 to schedule your consultation and find out if dental implants are the right solution for you.
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