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What to Know Before Getting Dental Implants

woman dentist take implant tooth
If you are missing one or more teeth, it can drastically affect your self-esteem and even prevent you from smiling. Luckily, there are many options to replace missing teeth, so you can get back a beautiful smile.
While dentures and dental crowns are still popular for their affordability, dental implants are becoming more and more popular among patients because of their amazing benefits. If you have missing teeth you want to replace, check out these four facts you should know about dental implants.
1. Dental Implants Are Durable 
Dental implants are a more durable way to replace missing teeth compared to dental bridges and dentures. Dentures have little stability because they sit on the gums, making it easy to dislodge them when you eat, laugh, talk, etc.
Dental bridges have more stability, but they use healthy teeth for support. The bridge puts extra strain on the healthy teeth, however, which causes the bridge (and the healthy teeth in some cases) to become loose. 
A dental implant, however, uses the jawbone for support, like a natural tooth. Furthermore, bone can fuse to titanium, so the jawbone fuses to the implant, stabilizing the hold like ligaments hold healthy teeth.
2. You Need a Healthy Mouth
Because dental implants use the jawbone for support, you need to have an overall healthy mouth for dental implants. Unfortunately, if you have missing teeth, you may suffer from gum disease or another side effect of poor oral hygiene.
Therefore, before you can get dental implants, our team at Advanced Dental Care will help improve the health of your smile, which lowers the risk of implant failure.
If you have a condition that affects healing like diabetes, you should get it under control before treatment. In addition, if you are a smoker, you should quit smoking as it slows healing and increases the risk (or worsens the symptoms) of gum disease. 
3. You Must Clean the Implant Like Natural Teeth 
Even after the implant is placed, you must continue following good oral hygiene habits. While dental implants can't fall victim to decay, the gum tissue around the implant can still develop gum disease, which is known as peri-implant disease.
At first, you may only develop peri-implant mucositis, which only affects the soft tissue. Like gingivitis (the early stages of gum disease), this condition is reversible if treated early. However, if left untreated, it can advance to peri-implantitis.
At this stage, the disease continues to destroy the gum tissue, but it may also destroy the jawbone. Gum recession and loss may expose the titanium root, and bone loss increases the risk of implant failure. Treatment will likely involve surgery to strengthen the jawbone or remove the implant.
4. You May Need a Bone Graft 
If you do have gum disease or your teeth have been missing for a long time, you may need a bone graft, which increases the price and lengthens the treatment time. Both gum disease and missing teeth can cause the jawbone to atrophy, and the more teeth you have missing, the worse the shrinkage.
In order to strengthen the jawbone to support the implant, a bone graft is used. Depending on the state of the jawbone, bone from another part of your body may need to be used, but synthetic bone can often be used to help promote good bone density.
Having missing teeth can make it difficult to eat and talk, but it can also make you feel less confident about yourself. If you have missing teeth, stop letting them hold you back. With a dental implant from Advanced Dental Care, you'll get an attractive smile you want to show the world. For more information about dental implants or other tooth-replacement options, contact us today.