Despite the advancements in dental care, there are millions of people throughout the U.S. that are still losing their teeth. Until recently, the only tooth replacement options were dentures, partials and bridges. Today, patients have another option, dental implants.
A dental implant is an artificial structure that is used to replace the root of a missing tooth. After inserting the implant into the jawbone, a dental crown is used to replace the visible portion of the tooth. Dental implants can be used to replace one, several or an entire arch of missing teeth.
What Are the Benefits of Dental Implants in Athens, Texas?
- When compared to the removable prostheses that are available (e.g., removable dentures and partials, etc.), dental implants offer patients the most realistic result, in both appearance and function.
- Once the placement is complete, patients can easily care for their teeth by performing their usual daily dental hygiene procedures like brushing and flossing.
- The durability and versatility that dental implants offer make them an excellent tooth-replacement option for many Athens, Texas, patients.
- Eating is easier with implants than it is when teeth are missing or while wearing a removable prosthesis.
- By stopping the reabsorption of the jawbone and more evenly distributing the pressure placed across the gums, teeth, and jaw while chewing, the dental structure is preserved.
- Dental implants can help an individual speak more clearly.
- When cared for properly, dental implants can last 25 years.
Are There Any Cons Associated with Dental Implants?
As with any procedure, the potential for a complication following dental implant placement is possible.
Some of the cons associated with a dental implant procedure include:
- Excessive bleeding.
- Incorrect placement.
- An unstable implant.
- In at-risk populations, the deterioration of the jawbone may increase.
Dental Implants Are Available at Athens Smiles
Whether an individual is missing a single tooth, several teeth in a row, or in multiple locations throughout the individual’s mouth, dental implants can replace not just the visible portion of the tooth, but the root of the tooth as well. Furthermore, a patient who has lost all his or her natural teeth, can use dental implants to restore the entire arch of missing teeth. These teeth look authentic. Dental implants also feel and function just like natural teeth.
How is an Individual’s Candidacy for Dental Implants Determined?
It is during the initial consultation at Athens Smiles that an individual’s candidacy for dental implants is determined.
Patients who are good candidates for dental implants are those who:
- Have lost one or more of their natural teeth.
- Have a healthy mouth with oral tissues that are free of periodontal disease.
- Have an adequate amount of jawbone remaining to keep the implants securely in place or, if the jawbone has deteriorated, he or she must be willing/able to have a bone graft in those areas.
- Would like to improve their speech.
- Do not have any type of health issue that would affect the healing process.
- Do not smoke tobacco. Besides tobacco use increasing the likelihood of developing gum disease and discoloring the teeth, the nicotine in tobacco is a vasoconstrictor. As a vasoconstrictor, nicotine narrows the blood vessels, reducing blood flow to the wound. This blood flow reduction inhibits the ability of the body to heal itself.
- Are unwilling, or unable to wear dentures or partials.
Some of the factors taken into consideration include:
- The health of the patient’s mouth – if there is periodontal disease (aka gum disease) present, this issue needs to be addressed before dental implants can be placed.
- The number of natural teeth that are missing – dental implants can be used to address one, several or a full arch of missing teeth.
- How much jawbone the patient has to stabilize the implants – when a patient lacks an adequate amount of jawbone, a bone graft may be used to restore these areas before placing the dental implants.
- Whether the patient is a nonsmoker, or willing to quit for several weeks before and after the dental implant procedure – since nicotine is a vasoconstrictor, it narrows the blood vessels. This narrowing reduces the amount of blood that can flow to the surgical site, which negatively affects the body’s ability to heal itself.
- Health issues that slow the healing process – ideally, the implant specialists at Athens Smiles prefer that their dental implant patients are free of the conditions that are known to inhibit the healing process. These conditions include diabetes, gum disease, cancer, autoimmune inflammatory diseases (e.g., rheumatoid arthritis) and autoimmune diseases (e.g., lupus).
Although surgically placing an implant usually takes about an hour, achieving long-term results requires careful planning; therefore, patients must be willing to take the time required to complete the dental implant process.
At Athens Smiles, every patient receives a custom-designed dental treatment plan. If you are interested in learning more about dental implants, or any of the other services available at Athens Smiles, contact the office at 1-903-675-4124 to schedule an appointment.