Dental Implants (a special screw typically made of titanium post) are one of the most effective solutions for replacing a damaged or missing tooth. However, dental implants and gum disease don’t necessarily “get along”.
Because dental implants need to get fixed tightly, healthy gums and jawbones are essential for success.
The questions below will help you better understand how gum disease affect your chances of a successful implant treatment.
AM I A CANDIDATE FOR DENTAL IMPLANTS IF I HAVE GUM DISEASE?
Dentists need to perform a comprehensive exam before determining what needs to be done in your mouth. This initial exam enables dentists to set up a treatment plan that goes along with your specific needs. Your dentist has to analyze the general conditions of your mouth. This typically includes:
- checking cavities
- controlling gum or periodontal disease
- checking your jaw bone and tissues
- performing oral cancer screening
After this exam, and if what you need is an implant, your doctor can determine if your gums and tissues are ready for the implant procedure. In case there is not enough bone structure in your jaw, you will need to have some bone grafting. In the event you have severe gum disease, you will need to undergo periodontal therapy first. Any oral issue that may impair the results of the dental implant will need to be treated before the implant procedure starts.
WHY DO I NEED HEALTHY GUMS FOR A DENTAL IMPLANT?
If you need to restore a damaged or missing tooth with an implant, your dentist -generally a prosthodontist or periodontist- needs to make sure your gums are healthy.
Strong bone conditions and healthy tissues are vital to ensure a successful implant treatment.
Because your new tooth will be fixed to a post that is screwed into your jaw, there needs to be a solid base structure where to adjust this post . Once the doctor confirms your gums are healthy and free from periodontal disease, they can start the implant procedure.
This way, a successful implant-crown treatment will help you regain a proper bite and a gorgeous smile.
WHAT DOES PERIODONTAL TREATMENT INVOLVE?
It is important to bring gum disease under control before you get any type of dental implant treatment. Periodontal therapy will strengthen and heal your gums. Usually your dentist will:
- Check for periodontal pockets by measuring small gaps between your tooth and your gum
- Determine if the pockets require therapy
- Perform periodontal therapy to prevent these gaps from growing bigger.
Non surgical therapies start with a deep cleaning that removes plaque and tartar from your gums.
Root scaling and root planing is a deep cleaning procedure to control gum disease. Hand scalers and other ultrasound instruments are used to remove the build-up of plaque. If plaque mineralizes with the passing of time in your gums, it becomes tartar. This needs to be professionally removed since it does not wash away with home hygiene.
Gum grafting: as with bone grafting, gum grafting is aimed at replacing areas where gum tissue is damaged or lost. This process will protect the root of the tooth with healthy gum tissue. A gum graft will bring gaps under control, and the tooth will not get loose or fall out.
Surgical procedures are needed when periodontal issues are more severe. Periodontal surgery or laser treatments may be needed to remove unhealthy gum tissue and ensure the success of a later implant treatment.
WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF DENTAL IMPLANTS?
There are mainly two types of dental implant procedures:
- Endosteal implant: goes implanted in the bone itself. This is the most common type of dental implant.
- Subperiosteal implant: goes on the bone on top of the jaw.
Depending on each particular situation, as a patient you may need:
- Small diameter dental implants: for people with bone loss or very or patients with very thin gum ridges.
- Large diameter dental implant: usually can be done on patients with healthy bone and gums.
- All-on-4 dental implants: for patients who need to restore a whole set of teeth. By using four implants to anchor the final denture that will replace your missing teeth.
Whether you need a small or large implant, an all on 4 treatment you need your gums to be in healthy conditions to ensure a successful implant treatment. With healthy gums and adequate bone and good care, your implant treatments can last over 20 years. You will get your tooth restored successfully and enhance your smile.
DENTAL IMPLANTS AND GUM DISEASE: WHAT TO DO TO KEEP MY GUMS HEALTHY
Most importantly, keep a daily adequate oral hygiene. This means flossing and brushing at least twice a day and keeping up with your office checkups and professional cleanings.
It is vital to avoid smoking, drinking alcohol and any other unhealthy habit that may directly affect your oral health. Keep your gums healthy and strong and your teeth will be favored by strong and healthy tissues.
Drinking the necessary amount of water will also help keep your teeth clean, free from bacteria and prevent any possibility of getting dry mouth (when the mouth does not produce enough saliva and this leads to more bacteria in your mouth and thus more probabilities of tooth decay )washing away all leftovers that may affect your mouth
In case you need to replace a damaged or missing tooth with a dental implant, you need healthy gums to get a successful implant solution. This way, you will be able to achieve a lifetime of strong, healthy teeth and a natural-looking smile.
DENTAL IMPLANTS AND GUM DISEASE FAQ
AM I A CANDIDATE FOR DENTAL IMPLANTS?
Upon completion of an examination, your implant dentist will determine if you are a candidate for dental implants. If there is not enough bone structure to support the implant post or you suffer from severe gum disease, you will need to undergo some treatment first. Any oral issue that may impair the results of the dental implant will need to be treated before the implant procedure starts.
DO I NEED HEALTHY GUMS FOR A DENTAL IMPLANT?
Because your new tooth will be fixed to a post that is screwed into your jaw, there needs to be a solid base structure where to adjust this post . Once the implant dentist confirms your gums are healthy and free from periodontal disease, only then they can start the implant procedure.
WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF DENTAL IMPLANTS?
There are mainly two types of dental implant procedures: Endosteal implant: goes implanted in the bone itself. This is the most common type of dental implant. Subperiosteal implant: goes on the bone on top of the jaw.
WHAT ARE THE DENTAL IMPLANT RISKS IF I HAVE GUM DISEASE?
The main risk is that your implant may fail. Even though there is always a small chance of implant failure, with periodontal disease those chances increase exponentially. That means the procedure may have to be redone, with the added time and costs involved.
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