Am I a Candidate for Dental Implants?
If you are missing even a single tooth, you are likely a good candidate for dental implants. They are quite simply the best solution for gaps in your smile, and it is very unlikely that you would not be able to have implants. Sometimes, certain medical conditions can make implants impractical, but this happens only in rare cases.
To receive dental implants, it is important that your jawbone is in satisfactory shape. Even if it is not, that may not necessarily be a deal-breaker. You could have bone grafting done that can replace missing bone in your jaw, and then you will be a candidate for dental implants.
To be a candidate for dental implants, you must also be free of gum disease. If you do have gum disease, it will have to be treated before you can receive implants.
Ideally, you are a non-smoker. But even then, you could still have dental implants if you are willing to quit. Dental implants are best not installed in smokers because smoking can inhibit healing in your mouth. It is vital that the implant fuses effectively to the jaw, so the healing process is every bit as important as the implant surgery itself. Healing can take as little as four months, or it could take up to a year. This means that you are going to have to quit smoking for real, not just give it up on the day of the surgery.
About the Surgery
Implant surgery is done under a local anesthetic, the same as is used for a filling or an extraction. A titanium screw is placed in your jawbone and it supports one or more crowns. The surgery can usually be done in a single visit to your dentist, but again, keep in mind that you must consider the time it takes to heal before the crowns can be placed. If you are not willing to live with temporary crowns while your jaw heals, then you may be better served by dentures or a removable bridge.
If you think you are a candidate for dental implants, get in touch with Dr. Thomas J. Pray, DDS. Our dentist office is located at 128 Milton Avenue, Ballston Spa, NY 120202. We would welcome an opportunity to explain the dental implant process in greater detail, and do an assessment to determine if you are a good candidate for dental implants. Call us at 518-885-8321, or use the form on our Contact Us page to book a consultation.