The 21st century has made a lot of strides in oral health, particularly with recent techniques like dental implants that can replace teeth, stabilize loose dentures, or replace dentures entirely. But despite the benefits that dental implants offer, they are not a blanket solution that everybody can or should try out. There are certain factors that have a big influence on the success of dental implants in your mouth, and someone like a periodontist or oral/maxillofacial surgeon will take great care to ensure it’s an appropriate procedure. Here are a few red flags that staff in the field of oral health will keep an eye out for when someone asks about dental implants.
A dental implant is secured directly onto the jaw bone, and has the best chance at success on a stable, fully grown jaw. As a result, children—and even adolescents—are not recommended for dental implants as their mouths are still growing and changing. So even if a child or teenager has lost a permanent tooth, it’s best to wait until adulthood before considering a dental implant replacement.
If you’re a smoker and don’t plan on quitting, dental implants are probably not for you. Smoking has numerous negative side-effects including gum disease, and nicotine is a vasoconstrictor, which means it impedes blood flow. Normal, healthy blood flow is imperative for your jaw bone to grow firmly around a dental implant. The impact of gums weakened by smoking can also affect the teeth around a dental implant, so while some smokers can certainly attempt dental implant surgery, the risk of failure is significantly higher than for non-smokers.
Gum & Jaw Health
Because dental implants need to be anchored on the jaw and require both healthy bone and gum growth, your mouth’s state of health is important. Thinner jaw bones might not be suitable for the implant, and if you already have some tooth decay or gum disease present, this will also have a significant effect on a dental implant’s success.
If you’re in the Long Island area and want to know more about dental implants and how they can improve your oral health and comfort, come see our staff at Island Dental Associates for an experienced, fully qualified consultation.
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