While dental implant surgery is a fantastic and highly successful way to treat the problem of missing teeth, it’s not suitable for every patient. Here are ten questions you need to answer to help gauge your readiness for dental implants.
Do you have a severely cracked, decayed or broken tooth?
A dental implant may be your only option if your tooth is damaged beyond repair and cannot be fixed by other restorative procedures. A good dentist will try to save as much of the original tooth structure as possible, but sometimes this is just not possible. In such cases, a dental implant is your best option for restoring a natural-looking smile.
Have you discussed your situation and options with your dentist?
It’s best to make the decision to get a dental implant in consultation with your dentist. Your dentist will be able to determine which is the best treatment option for your individual situation. This may or may not involve dental implants. They will also be able to ascertain whether you are a suitable candidate for dental implants. Contact Lentini Dental here if you’d like to discuss dental implants further.
Have you got sufficient healthy jawbone to allow for the procedure to be performed?
You might not be a suitable candidate for a dental implant if you don’t have sufficient quality and quantity of jawbone. The success of the implant depends a great deal upon the amount of dense bone tissue you have to support it. Your dentist will be able to advise you on this.
Are you a non-smoker, or are you willing to give up smoking?
Smoking can have a significant negative effect on the dental implant process. This is especially true during the healing process for your implant. The procedure involves inserting the implant into your jawbone with a screw through an incision in the gum.
This is then left for anywhere between three and nine months to fuse to your jawbone. Once this has occurred, the permanent restoration (such as a crown or bridge) is fitted on top. At the very least, you’ll need to give up smoking while your implant is healing.
It would be much better for your implant and your oral health if you didn’t smoke at any time. If you can’t give up or decrease your smoking habit, then dental implants are not a realistic option for you.
Are you able to schedule a few days off after surgery to recover?
The dental implant procedure will be carried out under a local anaesthetic, meaning that pain during the surgery will be non-existent or minimal. In the days following the surgery you might experience some bleeding, swelling or discomfort.
Although this pain is usually mild and can be easily controlled with over-the-counter pain medications, it’s best if you can schedule a few days’ rest after the procedure. This will give you a chance to recover well.
Are you a teeth grinder?
Teeth grinding (or bruxism) is a habit you’ll need to break if you want your dental implants to last. However, there are strategies you can use to help you reduce grinding or teeth
clenching, such as wearing a mouthguard at night if you grind your teeth while you sleep. Your dentist will be able to advise you on this matter.
Do you have good general oral health?
If you have good oral health and stay on top of your dental hygiene, chances are you’ll be a good candidate for dental implants.
Having a healthy mouth will help minimise complications arising from the procedure. It will help prevent problems in the future, so this is a non-negotiable.
Do you have persistent gum disease, and if so, have you made plans to treat it?
The dental implant procedure cannot be performed on anyone with signs of gum disease. Your teeth and gums need to be free from decay, damage and disease before you can proceed with dental implants.
The implant will fail if the gum disease is not treated first, meaning a great waste of time and money. If you have persistent gum disease, you’ll need to undergo sufficient treatment to get this under control before you can consider dental implants. If you are not willing or able to undertake this treatment, then you are not ready for dental implants.
Are you willing to maintain healthy teeth and gums into the future?
Dental implants are just like your regular teeth, and are vulnerable to trauma and gum disease if you don’t look after them. With good oral hygiene, dental implants can last a lifetime. All you’ll need to do is give then the same care and maintenance that you’d give your natural teeth, including:
· Brushing your teeth twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste
· Flossing your teeth daily
· Eating a healthy diet
· Scheduling regular check-ups with your dentist
· Getting your teeth professionally cleaned at least once a year
If you’re committed to maintaining good dental health into the future, then dental implants are a great choice for you.
Can you afford the procedure?
There’s no getting around it – dental implants aren’t cheap. Being the most long-lasting and effective treatment for missing teeth comes at a price. And aside from the cost of getting the implant custom made and surgically inserted, you’ll also need to factor in the cost of:
· any necessary pre-treatment
· post-surgical check-ups
You’ll need to weigh up whether you can afford the procedure. Keep in mind that some of the cost may be covered by your health insurance company. Many dentists also offer payment plans and options, so that the cost of major treatments can be spread over time.
However, dental implants will last a lifetime for most people. So when you consider the cost spread over many years, dental implants actually become quite a cost-effective treatment and great value for money.
And when you consider the damage a missing tooth or teeth might cause you, it may cost you more in the long run not to get it treated. It’s worth noting that the cost of dental implants is usually well worth the lifetime benefits that you gain.
Establish what costs you will need to pay, weigh up your options and if you decide an implant is for you, go ahead and get that beautiful smile happening.
If you would like to talk to the implant specialists in Melbourne, contact Lentini Dental here.