Looking to replace missing teeth, but aren't sure whether or not dental implants are right for you? There are many factors that should affect your decision, and we've listed all the key information below to help you decide. You'll want to be fully informed about what the procedure involves, the factors that can stop dental implants from working properly, and the factors which mean you shouldn't have implants fitted.
Read on for everything you need to know before deciding on dental implants.
How are dental implants fitted?
Having dental implants fitted does involve surgery, which most people will have under local anesthetic. This ensures that your mouth is completely numb and you won't feel any pain during the procedure. Your dentist will make a cut in your gum and then drill a small hole into your jawbone. Your implant will then be fitted into this hole, either immediately or after allowing the bone to heal for several weeks. A small screw called an abutment is then fitted to the implant, and this is what your false tooth will be attached to.
Who shouldn't have dental implants fitted?
There are certain people who might find that other options are more suitable for them than dental implants. If you're a smoker, your dentist won't recommend dental implants, as smoking can cause the treatment to fail. Certain conditions like diabetes and osteoporosis may also affect how effective the treatment is - your dentist will look at your medical history to help you make an informed decision. If you've had radiotherapy is the past, implants are less likely to work and your dentist may recommend an alternative.
What are the alternatives to dental implants?
If you don't think that dental implants are the right option for you, don't despair. There are several other ways to replace missing teeth and get your smile looking great again. You could have removable dentures fitted. These consist of a plastic and metal frame fitted with false teeth, which can be inserted and removed as needed. Full and partial dentures are available, depending how many teeth you're missing, and people won't be able to tell that you're wearing them. It can take a little time to get used to eating and talking with dentures in. A bridge is a more permanent option where a false tooth is supported by your natural teeth on each side. This works well if only one or two teeth are missing.
Not sure about dental implants? Get fully informed and discuss all the options with your dentist before making a decision.