The majority of adult dental patients who have a single tooth or multiple teeth missing are looking for a straightforward way to alleviate the issues associated with this. Not only the aesthetic problems that can come from having a gap in the teeth, but also issues relating to biting and chewing food.
In recent years, many people have opted to have oral implants fitted, as these are applied via surgery and provide a stable anchor point for prosthetic teeth to be attached to. And while the surgery itself may sound worrying, the discomfort is reported to be no worse than that of having a tooth extracted and should be manageable with over-the-counter pain relief.
So, if you are looking to have oral implants fitted, what are some of the things you need to know before undergoing this procedure? Read on to find out.
Not everyone is suitable
It may come as a surprise to learn that not everybody is suitable to have a dental implant Melbourne fitted.
To be deemed able to receive this procedure, you need to be 18 years old or older, and have a healthy jawbone which will be determined through an X-ray. If you are older and suffering from a condition like osteoporosis, then it may be deemed unwise to go ahead with this procedure. So, be sure to talk to your dentist about suitability. Some medications can prevent you from being suitable too, such as taking blood thinning medications like warfarin.
The fusing may not be successful
Even if you are deemed suitable for the fitting of an oral implant, the fusing itself may not be successful. Oral implants are made from titanium which is biologically inert and fuses to the surrounding jawbone in healthy cases. However, for about one in 100 patients, there may be no successful fusing for one reason or another and your dental team will be able to determine this 12 months after the implant is fitted. If there are no signs of fusing by this period, the implant will be removed and other restorative methods will be discussed.
You need to treat them like real teeth
When the prosthetics are fitted to the implants, the best way you can prolong their longevity is to treat them as you would your natural teeth. Be sure to floss them twice a day, attend biannual appointments with your dentist and if there are any signs of gum disease setting in, aim to have this dealt with as soon as possible.
Gum disease is a big issue
As highlighted before, if you have oral implants fitted and then go on to develop gum disease, this is potentially a rather large problem, as gum disease is renowned for causing teeth to become loose and for shortening the life span of implants. So, you will need to stay on top of any signs of periodontal disease as they can cause the implants to fall out prematurely.
They are long lasting
However, provided that you care for your implants correctly and stay in touch with your dental team, they can easily last 20 years or more, so are a worthwhile investment in your smile.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.