In the past, anyone with one or more missing teeth was encouraged to get dentures. Whether you needed full upper or lower dentures, or simply a partial denture to replace one or two teeth, the end result was learning to live with a removable plate in your mouth. Now, dental implants are much more popular and widely accepted, and these have evolved to the point that they are as realistic and long-lasting as natural teeth. Implants aren’t suitable for everyone, however, but a consultation with the dentist in Surrey BC will give you the information you need to make the right decision for your situation. Basically, you’re a good candidate for implants if:
1. You have teeth missing
This might seem obvious, but there are lots of options to replace a couple of missing teeth and most implant patients have tried one or two previously. Flippers, crowns and fixed dental bridges are all accepted ways to fill that gap in your mouth, but none of them last forever, and some cause endless discomfort. If you’ve already tried everything else, or you want a permanent solution right from the start, then dental implants are a good option.
2. You’re a full-grown adult
As much as teenagers want to have perfect smiles, dental implants can only be fitted on a full-grown, adult jawbone. That’s because before the age of 21 years (or later in some cases), there’s still a chance your bone structure could develop more fully. This would result in changes to the positioning of the implants, which won’t adapt automatically the way your natural teeth would.
3. You have enough jawbone mass
When a dental implant is fitted, it’s important for it to be completely stable and integrated with the bone. Otherwise, it won’t be able to support the tooth mounted on it. To achieve this, the patient needs at least 1 mm of bone around the implant site, which increases to 2 or 3 mm when it is beside a tooth or another implant. If you don’t have enough solid bone mass to support an implant, you need to be a candidate for bone grafting from elsewhere on your body, another suitable organism, or a synthetic material. The graft can be done either during or before the dental implant procedure.
4. Your oral and overall health are good
To be an ideal dental implant candidate, it’s important to have healthy oral tissues, with an absence of gum infection and other issues. A quick exam by the dentist in Surrey BC will determine whether these apply. You should also be generally healthy or you risk the bone not healing properly around the implant, which is called a delayed union or non-union. Patients with diabetes, anemia and hypothyroidism have a higher risk of non-union, as well as seniors, smokers and people with poor nutrition and low vitamin D.
5. You’re unable to wear dentures
Far too many people with dentures don’t wear them most of the time. They put them in to go out, but often remove them again to eat and leave them out for most of the day. Some reasons for this include:
- Pain and discomfort
- Loose fit
- Interference with eating, speaking, etc
- Unattractive appearance
If you have dentures, you’re expected to wear them most of the day. Most wearers remove them for sleeping, but wearing dentures all day should be comfortable enough and foster oral and general health. For those patients who have denture problems, implants are the perfect alternative because they feel and work like natural teeth.
6. Your speech needs improvement
When you have missing teeth or an inaccurate bite, your speech is one thing that can be a big giveaway. If you have a speech impediment like lisping or whistling, it may be caused by having a gap that can be filled by an implant or two.
For more information on dental implants cost, aftercare and insurance, please book an appointment with the dentist in Surrey BC to discuss your options.