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Think Tooth Implants Aren’t an Option? Talk a Clarksville Dentist

Tooth implants are the most stable and most lifelike replacement for missing teeth, providing a natural fit that restores full mouth function. But many people in Clarksville, Tennessee, assume that dental implant placement is out of the question – and quite often, this isn’t the case.

According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AAID), the best candidates are reasonably healthy, with strong oral hygiene habits. For patients with health challenges and concerns that can affect implant success, additional pretreatment steps may be necessary. However, just about anyone who is missing teeth can consider dental implant placement.

If you thought you couldn’t get tooth implants, you’ll want to talk to a skilled and experienced Clarksville dentist. But for now, reading the following may prove helpful.

Gum Disease

Did periodontitis cause your tooth loss?

Gum disease is incredibly common, and next to accidents, it’s the number one reason adults lose teeth. Dental implant placement can be successful if the gap in your grin is due to a serious gum infection – but a Clarksville dentist will want to get that in check first. Once your periodontal disease is a thing of the past, you should get the go-ahead to get tooth implants.

Medical Conditions

Do you suffer from some sort of chronic disease?

People with diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoporosis and other health conditions often believe they aren’t candidates for dental implant placement. However, being reasonably healthy is what matters. A dentist may take some precautions to encourage proper healing after the procedure, but as long as your affliction is under control, you should be able to get tooth implants.

Bone Loss in the Jaw

How long have you been living with missing teeth?

Jawbone atrophy is a common effect of tooth loss. The roots of the teeth are what stimulate bone growth in the jaw, and when those are gone, the bone begins to degrade. Tooth implants need a healthy foundation of bone to remain stable – but if your jawbone has atrophied, your Clarksville dentist has a solution. With a simple bone graft procedure, your jaw can become strong enough for dental implant placement.

Have Replacement Teeth

Did you already replace your missing teeth?

Whether you have a dental bridge or dentures, you can replace your replacement teeth, regardless of how long you’ve had your current dental restoration – and doing so can provide you with a more stable and functional smile. If your jawbone has degenerated, you might need bone grafting to rebuild the bone structure. But once healed, you’ll be able to ditch the bridge or dentures and move forward with dental implant placement.

Current Smoker

Is tobacco use keeping you from considering tooth implants?

Being a smoker does put you at risk for complications, as smoking can affect osseointegration, or the fusion of the implant posts to the jawbone. Smoking can also delay healing and increase the chance of infection. Quitting is always recommended, at least temporarily, and you may be asked to sign a consent form, stating that you understand the risks of continuing to smoke. But, you can likely still get tooth implants.

Advancing in Age

Do you think you might be too old for tooth implants?

More than a few people in Clarksville share this opinion, but age isn’t a deciding factor – dental implant placement is a safe and effective tooth replacement option for adults of any age. And, the success rate in older patients is almost identical to that in younger patients. So, the fact that you’re getting on in years is no reason to give up on the idea of getting tooth implants.

Who Isn’t a Candidate for Tooth Implants?

While dental implant placement is an option for most people with missing teeth, some Clarksville residents – namely children and pregnant women — have to hold off on pursuing this method of tooth replacement.

Children need an alternative, like a flipper or a resin-bonded bridge, as the jaw must be fully grown – if tooth implants are placed while the jawbone is still growing they can become crooked as time goes on, keeping other teeth from emerging in the proper position. Implant placement is generally an option at around age 16 for girls and age 18 for boys, but the timeline for jawbone growth can vary.

For pregnant women, dental implant placement may be possible after the first trimester, but most dentists prefer to wait until after the baby is born. Studies show that the use of local anesthesia is safe during pregnancy, but implant procedures require stronger forms of anesthesia, which can be risky. X-rays are also essential, which aren’t recommended in the later stages of pregnancy.

Should You Consider Tooth Implants?

Just about everyone is – or can be – a candidate for dental implant placement. But ultimately, the best way to decide on the right tooth replacement method is to consult with an experienced local dentist.

In Montgomery County and the surrounding northern Tennessee area, Clarksville Smiles is here to help. For more information on solutions for missing teeth and how our professional team can restore the beauty and function of your smile, contact us and schedule an appointment to discuss tooth implants today!

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