When to Consider a Dental Implant

Do you have one or more missing teeth? Then it’s time to consider dental implants. The answer is that simple because dental implants are the closest you can get to recreating the strength and appearance of your natural teeth.

Dental implants boast a success rate of up to 97% and they do more than restore your beautiful smile. They also keep your jaw strong and healthy. You can’t get that from other tooth replacement options.

Implants represent such an exceptional solution that Linda Kay Nichols, DMD, replaces lost teeth with dental implants whenever possible. Though some people may not be good candidates, nearly everyone can get a dental implant. And in the hands of Dr. Nichols, you can count on fabulous results.

Let’s talk about when to consider implants, and why they’re an awesome choice.

Basic guide to dental implants

When you get a dental implant, we insert a small metal rod into your jaw. The implant is made from a type of metal that’s safe for your body.

As your jaw grows new bone tissue around the rod, the implant becomes firmly anchored, just like your natural tooth. Once the bone heals, we put a small piece on top of the rod and permanently cement a new crown to the implant.

That’s how a dental implant replaces one tooth. If you’re missing several teeth, we can insert multiple implants. If two or three adjacent teeth are gone, we can give you a bridge that’s anchored by dental implants.

And finally, if you need to replace all your teeth, we offer implant-supported dentures. You can choose between dentures that snap on and off or dentures designed to stay permanently attached to the implant.

Candidates for dental implants

When talking with patients about their options, we only have two criteria that are deal breakers. First, you should be in good general and oral health. 

If you have a medical condition that interferes with healing or you take certain medications, dental surgery may not be the best option. We also need to take care of any dental problems, such as gum disease, before inserting implants.

And second, you also need to have enough bone in your jaw to support the implant. Some people have a jawbone that’s too thin or soft. In most cases, we overcome that problem with a bone graft that thickens and strengthens the bone.

Benefits of dental implants

You already know that dental implants restore your appearance -- and along with it, your self-confidence. But you probably aren’t aware of the important dental benefits you gain when you choose implants.

Dental implants are the best choice because they:

Replace your tooth root

The implant serves the same role as your original tooth root, providing a strong anchor that allows your new tooth to work just as well as your natural teeth.

Maintain jaw strength

During your lifetime, your jawbone stays strong and healthy by getting rid of old bone and replacing it with new bone. But your jaw only regenerates new bone when it’s stimulated by the presence of the tooth root.

When you lose a tooth and the root disappears, your jawbone gradually gets weaker and thins out. Once we insert your implant, the rod activates bone growth that strengthens your jaw.

Preserve tooth alignment

When a missing tooth leaves a gap in your gum, the neighboring teeth move toward the empty space. As their positions change, they go out of alignment with your other teeth.

Misaligned teeth make it hard to chew food, and they cause uneven pressure on your teeth every time you bite down. This problem increases your risk for cavities and gum disease, and eventually leads to broken or cracked teeth.

If you have questions about dental implants or other solutions for missing teeth, call Linda Kay Nichols, DMD, or book an appointment online today.

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