Millions of Americans suffer from tooth loss each year due to dental and periodontal problems, such as tooth decay, gingivitis, and periodontitis; as well as to injury sustained in the mouth. Before, the only viable options available to solve tooth loss are either bridges or dentures. Both are temporary solutions, however, often needing replacements after several years to avoid complications. With recent medical advances, professionals practicing cosmetic dentistry in Greenville, SC and elsewhere in the world are now able to provide more permanent solutions, such as dental implants.

In a nutshell, dental implants replace natural tooth roots, making use of a metal post (typically made of titanium) that is permanently attached to the jawbone through osseointegration. The metal implant then supports an artificial crown, very similar to the way natural tooth root and crown work. The procedure is available to locals, thanks to the services offered by a trusted dentist in Greenville, SC like Dr. Brian Derrick of Falls Park Dentistry.

Ideal Candidates for Dental Implants

Generally speaking, almost everyone is a viable candidate for dental implants, from kids to adults, provided that they are healthy enough. The must have healthy gums, with enough jawbone to anchor the implants. They must also be committed to taking good care of the implanted teeth and the surrounding gums.

Before the actual procedure, the dentist will conduct an examination to determine whether or not you’re a good candidate for dental implants. The exam could include an X-ray of your jawbone, as well as a close inspection of your ridge and mouth, your bite, and the spaces between your jaws.

Dental Implants Aren’t for Everyone

Dental implants are safe and have a success rate of more than 90%. Those without sufficient jawbones could still get the procedure, but might need to undergo bone grafting first. However, young children whose jawbones are still in development may not be suited for a dental implant. Pregnant women are also not good dental implant candidates, along with heavy smokers and alcohol or substance abusers. In the case of smokers, smoking reduces the likelihood of a successful implant, since it hinders the healing process in the mouth. Smokers who wish to get the procedure are advised to quit months ahead, to make sure they will not return to the habit once the surgery is done.

Diseases such as uncontrolled diabetes, hemophilia, and significant immune system deficiencies could affect one’s candidacy for a dental implant, but patients with these conditions could still be considered for the procedure, depending on the severity of their condition. They will need to be examined by the dentist and their cases will be assessed individually.

(Source: Loose tooth: Why dental implants are a viable option for many patients, WRVO)