dental implants

How To Know If You Need Dental Implants

June 8, 2023

Dental implants can significantly improve your smile and self-confidence and come with many benefits, which include that they look, feel, and function just like your natural teeth.

If you are missing teeth, wear dentures or a bridge, or have other dental issues, you may wonder if you need dental implants.

We want you to feel good about your smile and maintain excellent oral health. Below we will tell you more about dental implants, signs that you may need a dental implant, the advantages of dental implants, and what determines whether you are a good candidate. 

What Is a Dental Implant?

A dental implant is designed to replace a missing tooth surgically implanted by your dentist into the jawbone, acting as an anchor for an artificial tooth called a crown. After your dental implant has bonded with the jawbone, the artificial tooth will be attached by your dentist.

Some patients will have multiple dental implants placed to help support a denture or a bridge, making them an ideal option for tooth replacements for qualifying candidates.

Dentists who perform cosmetic, restorative, and preventative dentistry can help create a customized oral health plan to meet your needs.

Reasons Why You Need Dental Implants

If you have any of the following issues, consider talking with your dentist about dental implants to improve your smile, oral health, and quality of life.

  1. An Infected Tooth. Your dentist may be able to save your infected tooth by performing root canal therapy, or if it is severely infected, it usually needs to be extracted, preventing it from spreading further. A dental implant can replace your infected tooth.
  2. A Broken Tooth. Your dentist may be able to repair it with a filling or crown. If the tooth is severely damaged, your dentist may tell you the best option is to extract it to prevent future complications and recommend a dental implant to replace it.
  3. One or More Missing Teeth. You can lose teeth due to infection, trauma, severe decay, or gum disease, and one or more missing teeth may cause challenges eating and speaking and affect the appearance of your smile. If you have one or more missing teeth, you may be a good candidate for a dental implant to help avoid complications caused by missing teeth.
  4. Loose Dentures. Over time your jawbone will deteriorate and change shape, which causes dentures to loosen, making it difficult to eat and speak properly. If your dentures are loose, talk to your dentist about getting dental implants to help stabilize them and keep them in place.
  5. A Loose Dental Bridge. Dental bridges are fixed appliances that replace one or more missing teeth. The artificial tooth, the abutment tooth, is attached to the surrounding teeth, and over time, it becomes loose, and the bridge begins to slip.
  6. Face Has a Sunken-in Appearance. When you have missing teeth, your jaw bone can deteriorate due to a lack of bone stimulation which causes your cheeks to appear hollow or sunken. One of the benefits of dental implants is that they help to stimulate your jaw bone and avoid bone loss.
  7. You Don’t Want Dentures. Dental implants may be the perfect solution if you don’t want to deal with dentures. You don’t have to worry about them moving around or slipping or using dental adhesive to hold them in place as implants have several advantages over dentures, including chewing food is challenging.
  8. It Is Challenging to Chew Food. When you are missing teeth, it can be challenging to chew food. Dental implants are similar to natural teeth and allow you to chew properly.
  9. You Don’t Like Your Smile. Everyone deserves to have a smile they feel good about, and if missing teeth leave you feeling insecure about your smile and self-conscious about your appearance, dental implants can help change that and give you a natural-looking smile you love.

Advantages of Dental Implants

There are many benefits to getting dental implants, including the following:

  • More comfortable and natural in appearance, easier to maintain
  • Have a higher success rate
  • Improve function
  • Lower the risk of cavities in neighboring teeth
  • Aid in jaw bone maintenance in the spot of the lost tooth
  • Decrease sensitivity in neighboring teeth
  • Are permanent and don’t need to be removed to be cleaned nightly
  • Improve your quality of life

However, not everyone is a good candidate for dental implants as the patient’s bones need to be healthy before having implant surgery.

Who is a Good Candidate for Dental Implants

You may be wondering if you meet the requirements for dental implants. Your dentist can help determine if dental implants or veneers are your best choice. We have listed the basic health requirements below, which include:

  • Having healthy gum tissues
  • Your jawbone is healthy and can handle a bone graft with enough space to secure an implant
  • You must be a non-smoker and in overall good health
  • You are an adult, or at least an adolescent, whose jawbone is finished growing, which is approximately 18 for boys and 16 for girls

Your dentist will give you a complete examination which may include a comprehensive exam, x-rays, 3D images, and models of your teeth and jaw.

Health Conditions That Can Make Dental Implants Unsuitable For You

Anyone with the following health conditions may not be a good candidate for dental implants including the following factors:

  • Substantial jaw bone loss
  • Diabetes
  • Unhealthy gum conditions
  • Patients who have had radiation treatment for neck or head
  • Some heart conditions
  • Patients with orthopedic implants 

These conditions may increase your risk of infection, and your dentist will evaluate your case to determine your best options.

Are You Ready To Improve Your Oral Health And Smile? Contact Carrie Muzny DDS In The Woodlands Area

At Carrie Muzny DDS, our highly skilled dentists offer cosmetic and restorative dentistry, preventative and family dentistry, professional teeth whitening, veneers, dental implants, surgical procedures, and more. We strive to provide professional and compassionate care for all our patients in The Woodlands and surrounding areas.

Contact us today, and we will work with you to create the ideal treatment plan to ensure you have excellent oral health and a beautiful bright smile!

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