Dental implants are one of the miracles of modern oral surgery. However, a dental implant procedure isn't a perfect choice for every patient. A doctor has to look at several critical factors, and these four are among the most important ones for them to consider.
The implants are anchored in the mouth using posts, and these posts are typically made of surgical-grade metals. For a dental implant procedure to be a success over several years, the gums where these posts go in have to be healthy. If the gums aren't healthy, it may undermine the stability of the posts.
Fortunately, dentists and hygienists have several options for restoring and maintaining gum health. You may, however, have to complete a course of treatment for your gums before a doctor can determine for certain whether dental implants are the right choice for you.
Most patients who receive dental implants either already have missing teeth or will need decaying teeth removed. When there isn't a healthy tooth in a spot, the area will start to atrophy. Natural teeth are anchored by a combination of bones and ligaments. These are usually the first parts to start atrophying after the loss of a tooth.
This is important because the posts that anchor the dental appliances attached to the implants have to have their own anchor points. When a doctor implants the posts, they will drill into the dental bones. For this reason, it's wise to get implants as soon as possible after dental extractions because this will leave the most bone possible behind.
In some cases, hybrid implant solutions are optimal. For example, someone who had to have several back teeth removed might still have healthy teeth further forward. A bridge-style structure can go into this space. The doctor will place one post at the back to serve as one end of the bridge, and they'll attach the other end to a healthy tooth.
Many personal habits can adversely impact the success of a dental implant procedure. In particular, tobacco usage tends to harm the gums. This can make it harder for implants to take, and a doctor will strongly encourage a patient to quit smoking or chewing to give the mouth the best possible chance to heal.
Other harmful habits include eating lots of junk food and consuming a diet that's low in calcium. In some cases, though, changes in habits may improve the outlook for the implant procedure.