How Do I Know If Dental Implants Are Right for Me?

If you are one of 178 Americans who have lost at least one tooth (out of 335 million people) you probably have heard that the ideal replacement is a dental implant and you may wonder if you are a candidate.

Brushing or Flossing Habits can Affect the Risk of Missing Teeth

The primary reason for missing teeth is simply inadequate brushing and flossing. That’s not surprising because few people grew up knowing that cavities were not the worst result of not being thorough. Periodontal (gum) disease is and is caused by bacterial film that develops around food particles that have not been cleaned off. This eventually causes the gums to pull away their support from the teeth. A quarter of all Americans over 74 have lost all their teeth largely as a consequence.

Dental Implants can Effectively Replace Lost Teeth

The ideal replacement for a lost tooth is a dental implant and Parthenia Family Dental uses the best: a biocompatible titanium screw that anchors a porcelain crown (the visible part of a tooth) into the jaw. This is actually stronger than a natural tooth and prevents the misalignment of the bite that starts when any teeth are missing. Properly cared for, implants can be a permanent solution. 

The key requirements for qualifying to be a candidate for an implant are:

  • Over 16 for girls and 18 for boys, since their jaws are still developing and an implant could interfere with normal bone growth.
  • Having an adequate amount and density of jawbone. This can be determined by a digital x-ray (which involves minimal radiation) or a CT-Scan. If yours is not sufficiently healthy, you may need a bone graft from a choice of sources.
  • Committing to quit or significantly reduce smoking (or chewing tobacco), if you do, since it interferes with the implant fusing with the bone and healing of the socket.
  • A commitment to do a better job of brushing (twice a day for a full two minutes) and flossing (after your last snack). You should also have your dental hygienist do a professional cleaning at least twice a year.  

If you believe you would benefit from dental implants, call Parthenia Family Dental today to set an appointment for a full dental exam and discussion about how to best restore your smile.

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