When it comes to repairing a damaged tooth or filling in a gap that was once occupied by a tooth or by several teeth, you have a few different options, including dentures, implants, and bridges. Many patients will choose dental implants. They act as permanent dentures, require relatively little maintenance, and look and act just like normal teeth. But what exactly are dental implants and are they right for you? Here’s what you need to know.

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are metal posts which are implanted directly into your jawbone. Once the post is in place, Dr. David can then put a tooth implant directly onto the post. Unlike other solutions that can be easily removed from the mouth, these implants are permanent and they are actually much better for the health of your jaw than any other solution for replacing missing teeth.

They can also play a number of different roles. Most of the time, dentists will top the dental implant with a crown that looks exactly like the missing tooth, but there are other options. They can be used as anchors for dentures or even to stabilize bridges in the mouth so they do not shift out of position. In both instances, the bridge and denture will feel more stable than if they are simply anchored on the gums or on the surrounding teeth.

Are Dental Implants Right for You?

Because this is usually the most expensive option when it comes to replacing missing teeth, many patients will simply choose a denture or a bridge without seriously considering a tooth implant. However, dental implants are the more durable and natural-looking option. But how do you know if dental implants are the right option for you?

1. Do you want a long-term solution?

Dental implants are the most long-term solution that your dentist can provide to you. Once the post has been implanted into your jaw bone, it is very unlikely that it will ever need to be replaced. And because it can play a number of different roles, including acting as the base for a crown or acting as stabilization for dentures and bridges, it is easy to get the implant and choose one replacement solution now, and then choose some other replacement solution that fits into the implant in the future.

2. Do you want to preserve your jaw bone?

If a tooth has been completely removed from your mouth, the bone that tooth was once implanted in will eventually start to erode. This means that once you lose one tooth, you might find yourself losing the surrounding teeth, no matter how well you take care of them.

When a dental implant is inserted into your jaw, however, it helps to maintain the health of that jaw bone. This is one of the reasons that your dentist might recommend having an implant installed even if you want to use a denture. It will keep your jaw bone from eroding away and affecting the health of the teeth that surround the tooth or teeth that you have lost.

3. Do you want a hassle-free tooth replacement solution?

If your answer is yes, you probably want to choose a tooth implant. One of the biggest benefits of choosing a dental implant is that you can have it topped with a crown. This crown will look exactly like your other teeth, it performs exactly like your other teeth, and it needs just about as much maintenance as your other teeth. Unlike your natural teeth, however, it will not get cavities. It might, however, need to be replaced every ten years or so, but that is usually much preferable to the hassle that comes with having to take out, clean, and replace your bridge or dentures.

4. How many teeth need to be replaced?

If you’ve lost a single tooth, an implant is the most reasonable option for replacing it, but that doesn’t mean that if you are missing three teeth in a row or several teeth throughout your jaw that this is not the right solution for you. In fact, if you are missing multiple teeth, this might be the preferred solution, especially if you do not want to worry about the maintenance that other options require. In general, just like the rest of your natural teeth, dental implants will last a lifetime if they are given the right maintenance and attention.

5. Is your jaw bone healthy enough for implants?

One of the biggest considerations to make when considering dental implants is whether or not your mouth is actually healthy enough for implants. Most people find that their mouth is plenty healthy for the implantation, especially if they have just barely lost the tooth. However, if the jaw bone is not healthy, it might not be able to receive an implant, which is generally the case if the tooth or teeth have been missing for a long time or if you have been using a denture or a bridge in the interim.

6. Do you take any medications or live a lifestyle that might interfere with implants?

If a patient smokes or takes certain medications, especially those that thin the blood, they might not be a good candidate for dental implants, as both of these things can affect not just the health of the teeth, but the success of the surgery.

If you want to know if you are or are not a candidate for dental implants, it is a good idea to talk to us, your Phoenixville, PA dentist office, to review your case specifically.

Schedule an Appointment With Dr. David Today!