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Bellevue's Best Smiles

Are you a Candidate for Dental Implants?

Rendering of jaw with dental implantDental implants are a modern alternative to traditional tooth restoration options, such as dentures. Despite their newness, they have rapidly become the most sought-after treatment method for restoring lost teeth. There a few factors for you to consider if you’re thinking about this type of treatment.

Have you Suffered Tooth Loss?

You can lose teeth for many different reasons. Gum disease, tooth decay, facial injury and bruxism (tooth grinding) are all potential causes. Dental implants can replace your missing teeth, whether you’ve lost one tooth or several and regardless of the cause of their loss.

It should go without saying that this is the primary factor in determining your eligibility. We can also discuss the possibility of dental implants if you have all of your teeth at present, but you need one or more extracted.

What is your Age?

A patient is never too old to benefit from dental implants. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in your thirties, sixties, eighties or older. Dental implants provide the same benefits. Some people think they’re too old for this treatment, but in reality, your age is not an obstacle as long as other requirements are met.

On the other hand, it is possible that a patient is too young. Your jaw continues developing until the late teens to the early twenties. As a result, young people who lose permanent teeth before the jaw is finished developing will need another method of treatment. We can discuss implants only after the jaw finishes growing.

Do you have Good Overall Health?

To receive dental implants, you must undergo a surgical procedure, and that entails anesthesia of some sort. To receive anesthesia, you need to have good health in general. This also includes your oral health. We’ll need to treat conditions like gum disease or cavities before we can discuss implants.

You’ll also have to have any other medical complications such as hypertension or diabetes under control. If you’re under good health, that will lower your risk for problems during the surgery and recovery period.

Do you Smoke or are you willing to Quit?

The harm that cigarettes and other tobacco products cause your overall health is known. However, this is particularly dangerous during the healing period after surgery. Smoking lowers the oxygen levels in your blood. It also slows the rate of your blood flow, which in turn slows down the delivery of essential nutrients to the sites of surgery. This lengthens the duration of the recovery period, causing your risk of getting an infection to rise.

Furthermore, smoking can loosen blood clots at the surgical locations, opening up wounds when bacteria and debris can gather. If you’re a smoker who is looking into dental implants, we strongly suggest you quit.

Is your Jaw Bone Reasonably Strong?

For dental implants to work, the titanium abutments need to merge with your jaw bone. If you don’t have enough bone mass, or if the bone mass you have isn’t strong enough, it can’t bond with the abutments. This can cause the implants not to integrate properly, in which case they’ll wobble and loosen, or they could not bond with the bone at all.

If you have insufficient bone mass, this won’t necessarily disqualify you as a candidate. A bone graft (a surgical procedure restoring bone mass to the jaw) can strengthen your jaw to the point that it can support dental implants.

For more information, please contact our office at (425) 688-1345.

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