With a longstanding history of almost sixty years, dental implants have proven to be effective and reliable procedures restoring smiles, look, and function. While they receive praise from both dentists and patients alike, the truth remains that they are not a widespread solution for all. Your eligibility for such a demanding procedure is based on a multitude of factors. By taking these into consideration, dental professionals may confidently decide if a dental implant is a suitable option for you, or if you’d be better off with alternative options instead.
Not Quite the Right Fit
Dental Implants are invasive and significant procedures, requiring a titanium post to be drilled into your jawbone, permanently fusing artificial teeth into the very fabric of your smile. With that in mind, there are some qualifications a patient must meet in order to ensure the procedure is not only feasible but will remain successful in the long run. Some of the indicators we consider are:
- Previously having implants installed which failed.
- Missing bone throughout critical parts of the oral anatomy.
- Medical conditions and lifestyle choices like severe osteoporosis or heavy smoking. Leading to high risk or unpredictable outcomes in the bone grafting process.
- Periodontal (gum) diseases, such as gingivitis or periodontitis.
- Genetically thin gums and bones, leading to an increased risk of losing more bone and gum around the implants as time progresses.
- Front teeth experiencing vertical bone loss and leading to an unnaturally high smile.
- How responsible is the patient? Will they do what’s necessary to maintain the post procedure results?
When determining if implants are the appropriate method to correct your smile, a dental professional will take these points, among others, into careful consideration.
If it is ultimately decided upon that dental implants are not a feasible feat for your jaw to handle, a dentist will recommend similar alternatives which may be less taxing on your smile. If you fall into this category for whatever circumstance, it’s important to become familiar with your other options.
You Have Options
Dentures are another staple in the world of dentistry, providing a removable substitute which restores a sizable amount of functionality.
Full mouth dentures are an excellent method to remedy a jaw which is missing all of its teeth or anticipating getting all remaining teeth removed due to damage or disease. Providing the façade of having a full set of straight teeth, they also grant patients the renewed ability to properly chew their food. Dentures are not as effective as one’s natural teeth or implants, meaning some restrictions towards diet may be commonplace.
Partial dentures operate similarly to their more encompassing counterparts. These are intended for patients who have several missing teeth which need substitutes, while still maintaining some of their natural teeth as well. Partial dentures are attached to a plastic base matching the color of your gums, allowing them to blend in aesthetically with your gums. Leaving gaps to leave room for your natural teeth to operate properly. However, they are sometimes uncomfortable and may be less reliable than other methods since they require frequent repairs as time carries forward.
Fixed Bridges, unlike dentures, are fixated in place with a unique bonding material by a dental professional. While technically a permanent option, they are not as intrusive as implants and offer more functionality than dentures. They quickly become an integral part of your oral anatomy, being non removable. This means they have potential to be problematic if not cleaned or cared for correctly, leading to damage among adjacent teeth which could be already healthy.
Let Us Take a Look
Avoid feeling discouraged if dental implants aren’t the right fit for you! A dental professional will be more than happy to analyze and further discuss your situation and land on the best option suitable for your smile.
While these options may seem to be less effective alternatives at face value, it’s important to remember that dental implants have their potential downfalls as well. Nothing is absolutely perfect; as long as you maintain your oral care and follow the guidance of your dentist, we can bring your smile to its optimal state no matter the procedure your smile adopts.
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