Dental Implants: General Information, Benefits and Risks
Dental implants are a great alternative to replace missing teeth. There are many indications for placing implants such as:
- Support for dentures that are ill-fitting or dislike removing dentures every day
- Replace missing teeth
- Bridge is not an option or bridge is not salvageable
Dental implants are essentially replacements of tooth roots that are placed in the jaw bone. They are screw-like posts that are made of titanium and over several months of healing fuse to the bone. After proper healing (usually 3-6 months), an implant crown or prosthesis for a denture can be fabricated to fit on the implants.
You may be a good candidate if:
- Have one or more missing teeth that you want replaced
- Have adequate bone in the jaws
- Have great oral hygiene and healthy oral tissue
- Don’t have any health issues that can affect bone healing
- Don’t use tobacco products
- Can wait several months for healing
Like any surgical procedure, dental implants can have some risks, which include:
- Injury to adjacent structures such as teeth or tooth roots
- Nerve damage: which can lead to pain, numbness/tingling to the lower lip, chin, gums and teeth
- Sinus problems
- Implant failure where the implant does not fuse to the bone
How To Get Started?
First, an appointment should be made with your general dentist or oral surgeon to see if you are a good candidate. Your medical history would be reviewed to ensure there are no contraindications for dental implants. In addition, a 3-D X-ray would be made and reviewed to determine how much bone is available and whether a bone graft would be needed to place the dental implant. At this consultation appointment, we would be happy to answer any questions and review information about dental implants. Contact us for more information.
Written by Sarah Bong-Thakur, DDS, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon
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