Am I a Candidate for a Dental Implant?

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While dentures have been around for centuries as the primary way to replace lost natural teeth, they’re no longer the standard of care. Part of the problem is that dentures only replace the crown of a tooth. There’s no anchoring effect to duplicate the role of a natural tooth’s root. 

This is where dental implants excel. As well as strong, realistic crowns that closely resemble natural teeth, a dental implant system includes a post that’s set in the bone of your jaw, replacing an important interaction between tooth and jaw. 

A successful implant, however, depends on the health of your bone tissue. In some cases, bone loss may prevent the successful placement of the post, reducing the chances of a viable implant. Visit Volterra Dental in Los Alamitos, California, to learn more about how implants will work for you.

The shortcomings of dentures

Before the concept of implanting a root substitute emerged, denture systems focused on the visible portion of the tooth. Crowns take care of the business of eating, biting, and chewing food at the start of the digestive cycle. Crowns also interact with the tongue in word formation, and their presence prevents the sides of the mouth from collapsing and creating an aged, sunken appearance. 

Dentures themselves were prone to moving out of place, a problem that got worse over time since the bone of the jaws changed shape when robbed of the interaction with tooth roots. As bone tissue eroded, once-tight dentures no longer fit. 

Complete replacement

Dental implants start with a post set into the bone of the jaw, replacing the lost tooth’s root. Over time, the implant post integrates with the surrounding bone tissue. As you bite and chew, this force transfers from the crown to the root and finally into the bone. This force stimulates the jawbone, keeping it vital and renewed the same way as a natural tooth. 

Am I a candidate for a dental implant?

As we’ve seen, bone tissue is an important part of the implant process. In most cases, patients have enough bone in their jaws to receive implants. If, however, you lost natural teeth years ago, bone tissue loss may become an issue. Bone grafts can be performed for some patients to build up the jaw and there are alternative post mounting systems. However, it is possible that you don’t have enough bone tissue for a reasonable chance of success. 

You must also be committed to good dental hygiene before and after your implant procedure. People with gum disease have reduced success rates, too. Some chronic disorders, including diabetes and heart disease, may make implant surgery less likely to succeed. 

Conditions vary widely from patient to patient. The best way to establish your candidacy for implants is in consultation with Dr. Richard Blackburn, the dental implants specialist, at Volterra Dental in Los Alamitos, California. You can book your session by phone or online to find out more about your best dental treatment options. Make an appointment today. Your new smile is waiting for you.