Dental implants are the best, most efficient way to replace a missing tooth. Not only can they last for 30 or more years, but they also integrate with the jaw bone, preventing density loss. If you are eligible for dental implants, you should seriously consider it, because even though they have the highest upfront cost, in the long run, they may be the most cost-effective restoration option. But how do you know if you are eligible for dental implants? Are you still able to get one if you have untreated gum disease? Get all the answers to your questions with this helpful information from your implant dentist in Kansas City.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are titanium screws that are surgically placed into the missing tooth’s socket. Over a period of four to six months, the jaw bone grows around the screw, securing it in place. Then an abutment and a prosthetic tooth are put over the implant, restoring the tooth in both function and appearance. Dental implants in Kansas City are very durable, can last a long time with proper care, and are good for your oral health.
What is gum disease?
February is Gum Disease Awareness Month! There’s no better time than now to learn about gum disease and its effects. Also called periodontal disease, gum disease is a chronic inflammatory condition that directly affects your gums and teeth. When the bacteria in plaque are allowed to remain on your teeth, they produce harmful acids that irritate your gums. Over time, connective tissue can be destroyed, making the gums recede or separate from the teeth. Without intervention, the supporting bone and tissue can eventually be permanently damaged and your teeth can become loose or require extraction.
If I have untreated gum disease, can I still get a dental implant?
Depending on how severe your gum disease is, you may still be able to get a dental implant—if it is caught and treated early. However, in most cases, if you have untreated gum disease, you are not a good candidate for dental implants.
Think about it. If you have gum disease, your teeth’s supporting bone could be damaged, meaning that you may not have sufficient to grow and surround the implant. Also, if gum disease returns or persists, the gums could separate from the implant, exposing the titanium screw and potentially making it come loose just like a natural teeth.
To help prevent implant failure in the first ten years especially, you need to have and maintain a clean bill of oral health. In reality, the only way to know for certain whether you are a good candidate for dental implants is by talking with your implant dentist in Kansas City. They will be able to analyze your specific case and explain which restoration options are best for you. Regardless of whether you get implants or not, if you have periodontal disease, you need to have it treated right away, so you can avoid losing more of your natural teeth. That way, you can keep your healthy, happy smile for years to come!
About the Author
Dr. Michael Byars completed a one-year residency in general dentistry, specializing in cosmetic and implant procedures. He recently opened Byars Dental, where he and his staff welcome patients of all ages and can provide dental services ranging from routine preventive care to a complete smile makeover. To schedule an appointment with him, you can call (816) 781-8222 or click here.