Dental implants (artificial tooth roots permanently embedded in the jawbone with a false tooth attached) are an excellent solution to a number of oral health challenges: missing teeth, unstable dentures, speech/smile/eating problems caused by dentures, lack of back teeth on which to attach a bridge, and the hassle of taking care of dentures.
Implants are often preferred to dentures and bridges for these reasons: they not only restore your smile and ability to speak and eat normally, but they preserve your bone and facial structure, prevent adjacent teeth from shifting (which can alter your bite), and are as easy to maintain as natural teeth. Because they last longer than dentures and bridges, implants are often not more expensive than these less permanent alternatives in the long run.
And the latest implant technologies are making it easier than ever to get implants—often in one treatment visit to Wilmington Oral Surgery. After over a decade of improving patient smiles and oral health with implants, it is a very routine procedure for our team.
But implants aren’t for everyone. Your oral and overall health and lifestyle all play a role in whether implants will be a success for you.
“Are Dental Implants Right For Me?”
You are a good candidate for implants if:
- Your jaw has stopped growing (usually at around age 18).
- You have good bone density. Through bone grafts, even people with bone loss can get implants, but the process takes longer and is more complex.
- You practice good oral hygiene and have good gum health. Patients with active periodontal disease cannot get implants until the disease is completely gone.
- You are willing to commit to after-surgery recommendations. The implant process is usually straightforward, and is getting easier all the time, but you must be willing to commit to excellent oral hygiene for several months during healing, and not smoke or drink alcohol, both of which can interfere with healing.
These rules are not hard and fast. If you are considering implants, a brief exam, interview and X-rays at Wilmington Oral Surgery will be able to determine whether you are now or can become a good candidate.
Implant technology keeps improving, simplifying the process of placing implants, shortening healing times, reducing complications, and providing better, more predictable results. Once the surgery site has healed, most patients forget they even have the implants!
We have the best results when patients come to us as soon as the need for an implant arises (such as when you lose a tooth or have one extracted). When the bone and gums are relatively healthy, the implant process is usually free of complications.
Ask your dentist about implants, or call Wilmington Oral Surgery if you are interested in exploring the options.