Dental implants are the next best thing to real teeth because they replace both the roots and the crowns. You will never have to worry about missing teeth again because dental implants can last for 30 years or longer. However, you may need a little prep work before undergoing your placement surgery. Don’t be alarmed. Here are a few common preliminary procedures needed before getting dental implants.
Severely damaged or infected teeth may need to be removed because a healthy smile is a requirement for dental implants. Although you won’t be able to have your placement surgery right away, removing compromised teeth will help ensure your dental implants have a healthy foundation to support their success.
Gum Disease Therapy
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 50% of adults have gum disease, which is a leading cause of tooth loss. If your dentist finds an infection during your consultation, you will require gum disease therapy using a customized treatment plan. You can move forward with your placement surgery after your health is restored. It’s important to commit to your oral hygiene to prevent infections from recurring after getting your dental implants.
Bone grafting is needed when there’s not sufficient jaw density. Bone loss is a common complication of missing teeth because your jaw is no longer being stimulated by the roots. You can lose up to 25% of your jaw’s density within the first year of losing a tooth, which will continue to deteriorate as time passes. Bone grafting is a surgical procedure to enhance the height of your jaw to ensure your dental implants have a sturdy foundation.
Sometimes, there’s not enough bone around your maxillary sinuses, which are located on either side of your nose. A sinus lift is recommended to add space to ensure the implant posts don’t protrude into the sinus cavities. A sinus augmentation is often used along with bone grafting when replacing upper back teeth.
While it’s not unusual to need some prep work, not everyone requires additional treatments. During your consultation for dental implants, your dentist will review a CT scan of your oral structures to look for anything concerning, like infections or bone loss. Based on the results of your examination, they’ll determine if your mouth is healthy enough to move forward with the first step to replace your lost teeth. If your treatment plan involves additional procedures, it’s time well-spent to ensure your dental implants last for a lifetime.
About Dr. Mark M. Farthing
Dr. Farthing earned his dental degree from the Indiana University School of Dentistry and has provided comprehensive dentistry in Indianapolis since 1985. He regularly pursues continuing education in several specialties, including cosmetic dentistry and dental implants. If you’re ready to replace your lost teeth, request an appointment through our website or call (317) 622-6605.