Receiving a dental implant can transform your appearance. Still, you may know little about dental implants or the procedure involved in your tooth replacement. Here are a few questions and answers to help you better understand what to expect:
How is a dental implant placed?
Your dentist inserts the dental implant into the bone of your jaw during an outpatient surgical procedure. As the implant is positioned, it is drilled into the jawbone, where it eventually heals into place.
Does it take a long time for a dental implant to heal?
Once a dental implant has been installed, the resulting wound heals into place over a period of several months. This healing process, which is called osseointegration, allows the jawbone to assimilate or fuse with the dental implant, stabilizing the device.
Can a dental implant fail?
Dental implants have high success rates and rarely fail. However, there are instances in which the chance of implant failure is higher. Here are a few of them:
- You smoke. If you are an avid smoker, your gums and the other soft tissues in your mouth are regularly exposed to irritants found in tobacco. In addition, the amount of oxygen that your implant wound receives may be reduced. Both factors can impair your wound's ability to heal quickly and properly.
- You have erratic blood sugar levels. If your blood sugar is not properly controlled, it can increase your likelihood of gum issues and oral infections. In addition, the rate of wound healing may decline.
- You have periodontal disease. People with advanced gum disease are more prone to implant failure. The inflamed gum tissues can permit the entry of oral bacteria into the wound site. In some cases, a gum infection can spread to the jawbone, hindering osseointegration.
Is everyone with a lost tooth a good candidate for a dental implant?
Not everyone is a perfect candidate for a dental implant. People who have suffered bone loss may have to undergo a bone graft in order to receive a traditional dental implant. Stil, in cases of poor jawbone density, the dentist may suggest alternatives, such as zygomatic dental implants or miniature implants. Since zygomatic implants are installed in the cheekbone, the density of the jawbone is less important for the success of the device. Also, miniature implants are smaller in size and require less bone for installation.
To learn more about dental implants, schedule an appointment with a dentist in your area, such as Tijeras Dental Service.