When and why to get dental implants

Since the 1970s, cosmetic dentists having been perfecting dental implant procedures to replace the missing teeth of people that need it the most. With a 98% success rate, dental implants have improved the everyday lives of many people for the long-term. If you're considering undergoing the procedure yourself, here's what you should know.

What are dental implants?

A dental implant is effectively an artificial tooth or set of teeth used to replace teeth severely damaged by decay, disease or other factors. Cosmetic dentists first replace the root of your tooth, which fastens the tooth to the bone underneath your gums, with a titanium replica, and then attach a realistic-looking artificial crown on top of it. Your dentist will obviously tailor your particular fake tooth in a way that helps it blend with the rest of your teeth for an overall natural look. 

When should I get a dental implant?

Generally, only a professional dentist can decide if you're eligible for a dental implant. After damage to a tooth has been found as a result of decay and diseases like gingivitis, a complete exam of your mouth will determine the density and volume of the bone in that location. This is important because dental implant procedures require a certain amount of bone in order to be successful. Luckily, if the bone is found to be lacking to begin with, there are bone regeneration techniques your dentist can tell you about that can help bring it back up to scratch. In determining whether you're a candidate for an implant, a dentist will also consider your general health. Certain conditions, such as diabetes, can negatively affect your ability to heal generally, which may impact the effectiveness of your implant. 

What are the benefits?

Getting dental implants comes with many worthwhile advantages. They are durable, permanent and more convenient than other forms of teeth replacements such as dentures. Given that artificial teeth are almost exactly like your actual teeth in terms of look and feel, dental implants can also improve your overall appearance, which may help with issues of poor self-esteem regarding your smile. At the same time, dental implants can assist in improving your speech capabilities, which sometimes suffer when using poorly fitted denture alternatives, your overall oral comfort, and your ability to eat and chew, which may have been lacking due to the state of your teeth before the procedure. Perhaps most importantly, dental implants improve your long-term oral health and hygiene.

Given the many benefits, it's worth consulting your dentist about your eligibility for dental implants if you feel they would help.