A single missing tooth might be enough for you to cover your mouth while you speak, but multiple missing teeth may have you seeking the confines of your home and avoiding social gatherings altogether. It’s not just your aesthetics that is negatively affected but also your oral health. The more vacated sockets in your smile, the greater your risk for bone and tooth loss. If you are seeking a way to replace your missing teeth, it might be time to consider dental implants. But before you move forward with treatment, it’s important to learn why certain cases are a bit more complex than others.
Why Are Some Dental Implant Cases More Complex?
It’s one thing to have your dentist replace a single missing tooth. After all, you can take one titanium implant and insert it into the jawbone. This will create the foundation needed to support your restoration and enjoy a healthier smile for years or even decades. But when it comes to replacing multiple missing teeth, or even one tooth, certain factors can make the process more complex. Some of these include:
Placement of Implants
When faced with the need for an implant-retained bridge or implant-retained denture, your dentist will need to insert more than one dental implant into your jawbone. Knowing where to place them along the arch and how to position them for maximum stability takes time, precision, and detailed accuracy. Using advanced dental technology, he can capture images and construct models to better plan for surgery, but when it comes to the actual placement, your dentist needs to be able to pinpoint the exact location to ensure implant success.
Your jawbone is the most pivotal part of implant placement. Why? Because it must be dense enough to properly fuse with the titanium post and create a solid foundation of support. If the bone lacks the necessary density, the implant will be unable to fuse and most likely become loose and fail.
To ensure your jawbone is strong enough, your dentist may recommend a bone graft, sinus lift, or ridge augmentation to strengthen the weak areas of your bone. Because this takes several months to heal from, you’ll need to wait before beginning discussions regarding dental implant placement.
Do you have a compromised immune system? Do you have diabetes? Are you suffering from gum disease? Each of these problems can make your desire for dental implants much more difficult. To ensure success with this type of oral surgery, osseointegration must be fully complete before receiving your final restoration. If the implants cannot fuse properly with the bone, it is likely because your body’s immunity is weakened, making it harder for it to not only fight off infection but also heal quickly.
If you smoke or use tobacco products, you are at a disadvantage when it comes to dental implants. Your missing teeth may need to be replaced, but your dentist may recommend an alternative. The reason is that tobacco not only negatively impacts your overall health, but it also raises issues as it pertains to your mouth. It is proven that implant failure in smokers is more than 15%, so if you want to receive this method of restorative treatment, it’s best to quit long before you inquire about your options.
Dental implants can give you the smile you deserve. Make sure to go over your entire medical history with your dentist during your initial consultation. By learning more about you and your particular situation, he can devise a plan that will allow you to enjoy a healthier smile for longer.
About the Author
Dr. David Earnest completed his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree at the University of Texas Health Science Center. Opening his own practice, Comal Dental in January 2013, he has been helping patients achieve healthier, more beautiful smiles in his state-of-the-art facility. Assisting individuals with missing teeth, Dr. Earnest offers dental implants as an alternative to traditional dentures and fixed bridges. To learn more about these unique restorations or to find out how you can get started on the path to a fully functional, complete smile, visit our website or call (830) 625-1515.