Are Dental Implants Right For Me?
Not everyone will be a candidate for a dental implant. A candidate for a dental implant may be someone who meets the following criteria:
- One or more teeth are missing or needing to be extracted
- Jawbone has reached full growth (usually 18 or older)
- Jawbone is the appropriate size or density to hold an implant
- Must have healthy tissue (hard and soft)
- No underlying health conditions that affect bone structure or density
- If extracting all remaining teeth, must be able and willing to wear dentures
- Must be willing to complete the process that will take several months
- Non-smoker or be able to stop smoking (Smoking will affect the ability for the implant to heal correctly and be successful)
What Risks Are Involved?
As with any medical or dental procedure there are some risks. Though these problems or complications are rare, most are minor and treated easily. Some of the risks may include but are not limited to the following:
- Implant site may get infected if post-operative instructions are not followed by the patient
- Other structures around the implant site, such as blood vessels or surrounding teeth may be damaged
- Pain, numbness, and nerve damage are possible in the chin, gum, or lip areas around the area in which the implant is placed
- In the upper jaw, sinus problems are possible depending on the proximity of the sinus to the implant
What Can I Expect Afterwards?
After having a dental implant placed, you may experience some swelling, soreness, or discomfort. Bruising of the face and gums may also be present. You doctor may prescribe antibiotics and/or pain medication for the days after the procedure. If swelling persists or gets worse in the days after surgery, please contact our office for further evaluation.
Eating after having an implant placed may differ from your usual diet as well. You will need to eat a soft diet as the sight heals. Times may vary patient to patient, so you will need to consult with your doctor to confirm how long you will need to be on a soft food diet.
Although most implant placement are successful and uneventful, there is a possibility that the implant may fail. This can happen for multiple reasons, some of which are out of anyone’s control. To help your implant be successful, you will need to follow all post-operative procedures given by your doctor and his staff. These will include but are not limited to the following:
- Practicing good oral hygiene
- Avoiding tobacco use
- Seeing your dentist regularly
- Avoid any habits that would damage natural teeth (chewing ice or other hard objects)
If you have any further questions regarding your implant or the possibility of being a candidate for an implant, feel free to talk with your dentist and his staff.