Many people would like to replace a missing tooth. Some of them may be considering a dental implant. Although a dental implant is one of the most natural-looking and long-lasting tooth replacement devices, there are some factors that a dentist may take into consideration before approving the placement of a dental implant. Here are two of them:
Are your gums healthy?
The health of your gums is important to the success of a dental implant. The gums and other soft tissues within the mouth help hold the dental implant in position as the implant becomes stable in the bone. In addition, the area around the guns is an entry point for bacteria which could infect the bone and cause a dental implant to fail.
People who have periodontitis, which is a serious form of gum disease, may not be good candidates for a dental implant. The disease, which is marked by gum pockets and receding gums can be painful. In addition, since the gums are inflamed, they may delay the wound healing at the site of a dental implant installation.
If a person is suffering from gum disease prior to a dental implant procedure, it is best to overcome the gum disease before having the implant placed. Even after the dental implant has been installed, meticulous dental hygiene is necessary to ensure that the gums remain in optimal condition.
How dense is your jawbone?
Your dentist will also consider the state of your jawbone before completing a dental implant installation. The jawbone must be thick enough to hold the implant securely into place.
Once an implant has been drilled into the jawbone, it undergoes a process called osseointegration. During this healing process, the implant and the jawbone permanently fuse. However, if the jawbone is not dense enough, this fusion will not occur.
In instances in which there is too little bone to complete a dental implant, a bone graft may be needed. The grafting procedure may involve harvesting bone from another location in your body, such as a piece of a rib, to add to your existing jawbone. If there is not enough bone available elsewhere in your body to harvest, bone from another donor, such as a cadaver or even a pig, may be used.
To learn more about a dental implant and what is necessary to receive the procedure, schedule a consultation with a dentist in your area such as Market Street Dental PC.