Dental Implant Fundamentals: What You Should Know

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Most people think of dental implants as an extreme treatment option for those who have lost all of their teeth. The truth is that dental implants are a great solution for many different dental issues. If your dentist has suggested a dental implant for any of your dental issues, you may be wondering about this type of treatment. For those unfamiliar with dental implants, there are some things that you should understand. Here's a look at some of the things that you need to know if you're considering dental implants to treat your dental problems.

Dental Implants Aren't Just For Full Replacements

One of the things that you should know upfront is that dental implants aren't just used as a replacement for full dentures. In fact, dental implants are a viable solution even for a single lost tooth. In fact, while you can replace a single tooth with a bridge, it's actually in your best interest medically to consider a dental implant even if you're only replacing one single tooth. That's because the post used for the implant will fuse with your jawbone, helping to preserve your jawbone's health and strength.

Some People Are Better Candidates Than Others

If you're considering dental implants, you should talk with your dentist about the marks of a good dental implant candidate. It's important to note that you need to meet certain criteria to be considered a good candidate for dental implants.

Smokers, those with chronic diseases that can affect healing, patients with bone loss or gum disease, and people under the age of 18 are typically not candidates for dental implants. However, if you are a healthy, non-smoking adult with good dental hygiene, you should be able to pursue dental implants to replace any missing teeth.

There Will Be A Recovery Period

You may have seen the advertisements for facilities that offer same-day tooth extraction and dentures. This may lead you to believe that you can also get dental implants in a single-day procedure. The truth is that there is a recovery period associated with implanting the posts, so you won't have your crowns placed right away.

Your dentist will implant the surgical steel posts in the locations where your dental crowns will be placed. These posts will be drilled into your jaw bone to encourage integration between the post and the bone. Then, you will have a recovery period before the crowns are placed. During this recovery period, your gums will heal from the implants, and your jaw bone will begin to fuse with the post so that your implants are secure when the permanent crowns are placed.

Implants Are Often Preferred Over Dentures

When you're trying to decide between dental implants and dentures, even just a bridge, you may wonder which one is truly better. In fact, most dentists will recommend implants whenever possible for a variety of reasons. 

Dentures must be removed on a regular basis for cleaning, and because they aren't permanently affixed in your mouth, most denture wearers find that there are certain foods that are difficult to eat with dentures.

Implants, on the other hand, can be treated just like natural teeth. You brush and floss them the same way that you would your natural teeth, and they perform much like natural teeth when you eat. This eliminates many of the dietary limitations you might experience with dentures.

Also, dental implants keep your jaw bone and gum tissue in good condition because the surgical steel post stimulates the bone and tissue the same way your natural tooth's root would, encouraging blood flow and overall bone and tissue health.

These are a few of the things that you should understand when it comes to dental implants. Talk with your dentist today for more information.