THE GUM GARDEN

What to do if you need dental implants

Are you considering dental implants? Read this first!

Don’t I just go to my dentist?

Yes, that would be a good place to start. But it’s worth taking the time to consider why you need dental implants and what happened to own teeth in the first place. There are many reasons why teeth might need to be removed, but extraction and implants should be the last resort.

But I was told that dental implants don’t decay, so they’ll last forever.

Well, it’s true that implants don’t get cavities. However, dental implants are very susceptible to the bacteria that cause gum inflammation, especially if your own teeth suffered from gum disease or infection. We see many cases of dental implants that have been placed without proper treatment of the gums, leading to a condition known as peri-implantitis?

Peri-what?

Peri-implantitis. That’s what we call inflammation in the gum and bone around a dental implant. It’s difficult to treat and can cause bone loss, abscesses, gum shrinkage and even loss of the implants.

Yikes! How can I stop that happening to me?

If you still have any of your own teeth, you should have a thorough periodontal examination before you start treatment. Any gum inflammation should be treated before you have implants to reduce the chance of them becoming infected. Smoking also puts you at a much higher risk of gum disease and dental implant infection, so you should seriously think about quitting. After periodontal treatment, your mouth should be in a much better condition to proceed with implants, if necessary.

That sounds expensive.

Actually, periodontal treatment is very good value. Usually the whole mouth can be treated for less than half the cost of a single dental implant. It’s a fairly straightforward process to remove the cause of any inflammation and advise you how to stop it from coming back again. Not only will this be good for any future implants, you are also much more likely to keep your natural teeth for longer.

I just can’t wait to have all my teeth out so that I never have to visit the dentist again.

Dental implants require the same care and attention as natural teeth! Some people claim that implants are the answer to all dental problems, but this is not necessarily true for everyone. You will probably need to learn to use special brushes or other devices to properly clean the implants, and you should definitely return for regular checks and maintenance care, including thorough professional cleaning.

So, do dental implants last forever?

Dental implants can be a very reliable long term solution if the correct treatment has been performed carefully in a healthy mouth. With regular maintenance visits, the lifespan of your implants can be prolonged and any potential problems can be spotted and dealt with at an early stage. But you may need to spend a considerable amount of time and effort in looking after your dental implants to protect your investment. Visit your periodontist if you are considering dental implant treatment to make sure your mouth is properly prepared.

The Gum Gardener

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