Maybe you didn’t take great care of your teeth when you were younger. You’re starting to pay for it now as one or more of your teeth have needed to be extracted. These missing teeth have really been a blow to your self-esteem, because now you have unsightly gaps in your smile. You’ve heard about filling these gaps with dental implants, but are you really a candidate for them if the rest of your teeth are in bad condition? Read on to find out whether implants could still be an option for you.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are metal posts that are surgically positioned into the jawbone to replace one or more missing teeth. They can perfectly mimic the structure of natural tooth roots, so much so that your jawbone is able to grow around them. Once this process is complete, usually after a few months, your implant dentist will attach a restoration, such as a porcelain crown or bridge, to the top of your implant, and voila! It will look and feel just like a natural tooth.
Am I Still a Good Candidate for Dental Implants If My Teeth Are Bad?
No matter how “bad” your teeth are, most people are still good candidates for implants. If you smoke, or have a condition that compromises your immune system such as diabetes, you may be at a higher risk for dental implant failure. However, in most cases, a prescription of antibiotics before and after surgery is enough to prevent infection.
If your jawbone is not strong enough, it may not be able to support the implant. Unfortunately, jawbone deterioration is common when you are missing one or more teeth. It doesn’t make dental implants impossible, though. You can simply receive a bone graft to make sure your jawbone is strong enough to support an implant and give you the tooth replacement you need.
Depending on the severity of your missing teeth, you might benefit from implant-retained dentures. By installing 4 to 6 implants per arch, we can then attach either a full or partial denture to these implants. Not only does this replace several missing teeth at once, but you receive the jawbone stimulation from the implants. Because they are held in place by implants, these dentures won’t slip around when you talk or eat like normal dentures would.
Just because your teeth are in bad condition doesn’t automatically mean you can’t receive dental implants. If you’re interested in using implants to fill the gaps in your smile, call your dentist today.
About the Author
Dr. Teresa Salem has more than 15 years’ experience as a dentist in the Scituate, MA area, and has a passion for dental implants, as evidenced by her advanced training. She has completed the Implant Continuum and the Esthetic Perio-Implantology Certification, and has undergone advanced training in surgical implants. To learn how Dr. Salem can restore your smile with dental implants, click here or call (781)-545-9244.