Have you lost one or more of your teeth? Not only can missing teeth be embarrassing, but it can make it hard for you to speak clearly or eat the foods you love. While dentures, bridges, and crowns are possible short-term, tooth-replacement solutions, they may not provide you with the most comfortable, natural-looking smile. Therefore, for the most lifelike appearance and the best long-term solution, Dr. Jon Erickson at Danville Family Dentistry in Hendricks County recommends dental implants.

What Is a Dental Implant?

A dental implant is the closest replacement solution to a natural tooth. An implant is like an artificial tooth root. A titanium port is surgically imbedded into your jaw bone beneath your gums. Then, a porcelain crown is mounted onto the permanent base.
Dental implants act and look like your natural teeth. Also, they’re stronger and more durable compared to dentures or bridges. Over time, bone cells will grow and attach themselves to the titanium, strengthening the implant’s hold within your jaw. When properly cared for, dental implants can last the rest of your life.

Are You a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?

With the advances in technology, many people are good candidates for dental implants. In fact, over 3 million implants have been placed since the 1980s.
During your dental examination, Dr. Erickson will evaluate your mouth and determine if an implant procedure is the best solution for you. Some factors he’ll need to consider, include:

  • Have you had any bone loss in the area? If you’re experienced significant bone loss in your jaw, dental implants may not be a good option for you. Or, you may require bone-grafting procedures before an implant can be placed.
  • Do you have any existing medical conditions? Hendricks County residents, who have uncontrolled, chronic disorders, like diabetes or heart disease, or people who have had radiation therapy to their head and neck area, will need to be evaluated individually before dental implants are recommended. Certain medical conditions can affect the long-term success of implants.
  • Do you have gum disease? People with moderate to severe gum disease may require treatment before dental implants can be placed.
  • Are you a heavy smoker? Not only can smoking affect your overall oral health, but it can affect how well your implant does. 

Generally, you need to have healthy gums and have enough jaw bone structure to hold the implant in place. Plus, you need to be healthy enough to undergo oral surgery.
If you would like to talk to Dr. Erickson to see if dental implants are the right choice for you, contact our Hendricks County office to schedule a consultation. He’ll be happy to discuss various tooth replacement solutions with you to help you achieve a beautiful smile.
Disclaimer: The information included in this article is for educational purposes only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.