Before we talk about the most common use cases, we should clarify what dental implants are. Dental implants are metal posts that are surgically placed into the jawbone, underneath the gum, and then a replacement tooth is attached to that post. The post acts as a tooth root and makes it a permanent fixture in the mouth.
According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, approximately 3 million people in the United States have dental implants. Implants are used when a person is missing a tooth or multiple teeth, but here are some common cases where a dental implant is used.
- You have a severely cracked or broken tooth – First, your dentist will try and see if they can fix the tooth and save it. Sometimes they can use dental bonding, which is a type of glue. They may have to do a root canal to save the root and then place a crown over it. But if the tooth is damaged and will eventually die, the dentist will likely pull out the tooth and put an implant in. That way you don’t have to worry about one of the other procedures not working and ending up with an implant anyway.
- Your dentures are loose fitting or constantly uncomfortable – If you have lost many or all of your teeth, dentures is usually what will be recommended to you first. But dentures are not for everyone. Depending on your gums and jawbone, your dentures may not fit securely or move around when you talk and eat. If you get implants, you will no longer have to worry about your dentures moving around or potentially falling out, which can make you self-conscious and feel embarrassed in public.
- Your lips or cheeks look “caved in” – If your cheeks or mouth have caved in from a lack of teeth or wearing dentures, getting implants can help restore the natural shape to your mouth and make you less self-conscious. The sunken look is caused by bone loss, which happens when you no longer have teeth to stimulate the bones in your jaw.
- You have an infected tooth – Just like with certain kinds of cracked or broken teeth, if you have an infected tooth that cannot be saved with a filling or a root canal, your dentist will likely recommend pulling the tooth and placing an implant. Infections can become dangerous if not addressed- the infection can go from the tooth to the gums to the jaw and bloodstream, causing a serious body-wide infection. If the infection has progressed enough that the tooth can’t be saved, the dentist will extract the tooth and place the implant so you’ll be able to function normally.
Being one of the leading implant dentists in the Gulf Coast, Dr. Djuric can help you determine if you are a good candidate for dental implants. If you think you may need implants, give us a call today to setup a free consultation with Dr. Djuric: (850) 542-4428.