One common theme across dentistry-related websites, blogs, newsletters and periodicals is the endless creativity and innovation that has driven advances in technology, techniques and treatments to the benefit of millions of patients. True as that is, however, how can we explain why millions of North Americans continue to experience tooth loss caused primarily by tooth decay and gum disease?
While research and innovation in areas of preventative dentistry and effective oral hygiene will continue to be essential, those who have suffered tooth loss can at least reap the benefits of technological and material advances that made biocompatible dental implants in Okotoks possible and accessible. Several studies following implant recipients over the course of a decade have identified an overall success rate of as high as 98%.
What makes dental implants so special?
Dental implants replace the tooth roots missing as a consequence of tooth loss. Those implants provide, once firmly rooted into your jaw by osseointegration between titanium and bone tissue, a stable base for replacing individual teeth with crowns, multiple teeth with bridges, and even entire arches of teeth with implant-supported dentures. Dental implants offer the following unique advantages:
- Implants from a dentist in Okotoks look, feel and act just like real teeth
- Implants are, once fused to your jaw, a permanent and potentially lifelong solution for tooth loss
- The discomfort and insecurity associated with traditional dentures are entirely eliminated
- When it comes to eating, implants are essentially identical to natural teeth
- An implant can replace multiple adjacent missing teeth by supporting a bridge without the need to alter any natural teeth
Implants eliminate the inconvenience of having to remove and clean traditional dentures, replacing that inconvenience with the well-known and understood patterns of daily brushing and flossing
Who is a good candidate for dental implants?
The two main criteria to be a good candidate for dental implants are: being healthy enough to undergo surgery and to heal completely while establishing a strong bond between the implants and the jaw; and having sufficient bone mass and density in your jaw to sustain the implants. Even people with unusually small jaws or sub-optimal bone density may be able to receive dental implants in the jaw after bone grafting or implants rooted in the face’s zygomatic bone. Beyond those initial criteria, a successful outcome requires an ongoing commitment to dental hygiene and to attending dentist’s appointments regularly.
Conversely, who may not be a good candidate for getting dental implants near you? Smokers and people who suffer from uncontrolled chronic health conditions such as diabetes or heart disease may not be qualified candidates. Similarly, someone who has undergone radiation treatment to their head and neck area will need to be assessed individually and carefully to determine if they are a good candidate for implants from a dentist in Okotoks.
What is involved in caring for dental implants on an ongoing basis?
It was mentioned earlier that implants look, feel and act just like natural teeth. The same is true when it comes to maintaining an implant except that they are not susceptible to tooth decay or cavities. To maintain an implant, one must merely maintain excellent oral hygiene by brushing, flossing, rinsing with mouthwash, attending regular dental checkups, having teeth cleaned regularly and receiving all recommended dental treatments.
Rare circumstances of implant failure are generally attributable to the presence of pre-existing infections or serious periodontitis or peri-implantitis that destroys gum and bone tissue near the site of the implant. In some circumstances, patients are unable to successfully establish a complete fusion of the implant to the jaw bone though this is a very rare outcome considering the exceptional success rate associated with getting dental implants near you.
If, at first blush, it appears you are a potential candidate for dental implants and you’d like to explore these options further, reach out to a dentist near you for an initial assessment and discussion of the next necessary steps.