Your smile and your teeth are one of the first things people notice.
Unfortunately, many persons suffer from missing teeth or hopeless teeth. As a result, they suffer embarrassment to the extent that they prefer to wear a mask. Unfortunately, some persons have made it too convenient to wear masks.
Some persons wear a mask, to mask bad breath; hide their teeth and gums and generally partially hide their expressions. In all, these are not sustainable or healthy long-term practices. More about this in another column.
In this issue, we will discuss whether you are candidate for dental implants.
If you are missing teeth and your bone quality is good then you are candidate for the gold standard of teeth replacements- Dental Implants.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental Implants are not new. They have been around for many years and therefore quite popular in many dental offices. At CSD, we have been doing implants since 1989 when returned home as the first Bahamian Specialist.
Today, more than ever patients are requesting dental implants because they know of its long-term value. In fact, dentists do more than 5 million implant procedures in the United States each year.
Unlike partials or dentures, dental implants are permanent surgical posts that go into your jawbone. Once implanted, the implants will support one or more artificial teeth to make up your crown, bridge or overdenture. These are generally permanent and are expected to last more than 15 years.
Implants are made up of strong lightweight titanium your body accepts. This keeps your body from rejecting the implanted posts or having reactions in the future. They literally have a success rate of approximately 98% which is more than other teeth replacement options.
Dental implants come with a number of benefits:
- They look and feel more natural than other types of restorations
- They provide improved oral health
- They protect your facial bones from deteriorating and collapsing
- They improve your speech
- You are able to eat more comfortably
- They resemble, and in many cases improve on the appearance of your natural teeth
Dental implants are very durable, and with the right oral care, they can literally last for decades. This is likely to be the last restoration you will ever have to do.
Could You Be a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?
One of the most important things when under consideration for dental implants is the condition of your gums and jawbones. You must have enough bone and healthy enough gums to hold your implants in place.
You may not be a good candidate for dental implants if you have severe periodontal disease. You may not be a good candidate if you have poor oral hygiene.
If you have had missing teeth for an extended period of time, you may have also suffered bone loss as a result. The only way to know for sure is to have a series of x-rays to examine the density of your bones.
Also, numerous health conditions could be a red flag if you want dental implants. You will need to have a medical evaluation to see if you are a suitable candidate. Some health conditions that may cause your dentist to have concerns are:
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Hemophilia or other clotting disorders
- Blood cancers
Your dentist may also have concerns if you are a heavy smoker or use any type of oral tobacco products. Smoking can delay the body’s healing abilities, and oral tobacco products can damage your gums and place you at a higher risk of oral cancers. Having these conditions do not necessarily eliminate you from having dental implants but may put you at a higher risk of failure.
So, we if you are minded to wear a mask because you are embarrassed by your smile, missing teeth or poor biting ability then there is help that is available to you. Dental implants may be the answer you have waited for.
The success rate of 98% speaks for itself!
Dr. Kendal V. O. Major is Founder and CEO of Center for Specialized Dentistry which is a comprehensive family dental practice operating in Nassau and Freeport. He is the first Bahamian Specialist in gum diseases and dental implants since 1989. He also is a certified Fastbraces provider. His practice is located at 89 Collins Avenue, Nassau at (242)325-5165 or [email protected].