How to Qualify for Dental Implants
Dental implant restorations rely on a strong, healthy jawbone to fuse to and support the implant post(s). Also, because the implants become a permanent part of your oral anatomy, you should also be free of dental diseases like tooth decay and gum disease. If a dental health issue is present, then Dr. Correa may recommend an appropriate restorative procedure before dental implant placement. If your jawbone lacks enough strength and density, then she may suggest a bone graft to fortify it.
What to Expect
- To determine if you qualify for dental implants, Dr. Correa will perform a comprehensive initial examination and obtain digital X-ray images of your teeth and jawbone structure. The exam and images will tell her if you require treatment for an existing condition, as well as how dense and strong the jawbone is.
- If your jawbone cannot support the implant(s), then Dr. Correa can recommend a bone graft to strengthen it using bone tissue from another area of the mouth or body.
- If you exhibit gum disease, then you may require periodontal therapy to stop the disease before implants can be placed into your jawbone. Afterwards, you may also require more frequent exams and cleanings to keep periodontal disease from compromising your implant restoration.
- If you qualify for dental implants, then Dr. Correa will consult with you to schedule your implant placement appointment.
How Does My Jawbone Lose Density?
Gum disease, the leading cause of adult tooth loss, can progress past your gum tissues and affect your jawbone in its severe stages. If you’ve lost teeth to gum disease, then the condition has significantly weakened the jawbone around those teeth in the process.
The loss of one or more teeth’s roots can also cause your jawbone to grow weaker over time. Without the stimulation of the root(s), your jawbone receives a lower supply of nutrient-rich blood, and therefore slowly degrades over time.
What If I’ve Only Lost One Tooth?
Even if you’ve lost just one tooth, the loss can still affect your jawbone and the rest of your oral health. By placing a single dental implant in place of the lost tooth and capping it with a lifelike dental crown, Dr. Correa can help you rebuild your smile without a more intrusive dental bridge.
What If I’ve Lost All of My Teeth?
If you’ve lost all of your teeth on your upper and/or lower dental ridge, then the support from dental implants is even more important to your smile and jawbone. Fortunately, you will not need a dental implant post for every lost tooth. On the contrary, complete dentures can often be supported on as few as four or five implant posts, minimizing the amount of surgery needed to place them.