If you need multiple replacement teeth, dental implants are probably your top replacement option. Whilst you can always go with dentures or bridges, those options just don't give you the same type of durability and longevity that dental implants can offer. There's no doubt that dental implants are great for tooth replacements -- but they're not necessarily right for everyone. Read on to learn the three things you need to consider before getting dental implants.
1. Dental Implants Take Time
Unlike dentures or bridges, dental implants are a permanent tooth replacement option -- but that longevity means you'll have to invest some extra time in the beginning. Generally, you'll need to see your dentist around three times to complete the dental implant process. The first visit includes creation of a mouth mould so a custom implant can be made. At the next visit, your dentist will perform the dental implant surgery, placing the implant into your jaw. You'll need a few months of healing time before returning for your final visit, in which your dentist attaches the pontic (the tooth itself) and the crown.
2. You Need a Healthy and Strong Jaw
Dental implants are primarily supported by your jaw -- and, to a lesser degree, your gums. Your dental implant actually fuses with your jaw. This means that you need both a healthy jaw and healthy gums to get dental implants. However, if you have bone loss, your dentist may be able to perform bone grafting to give you the bone density you need for the implants. This is a separate procedure that can add extra time and cost to the dental implant process.
3. Commitment Goes Beyond Just Brushing
Whilst most dental implant patients know that they'll need to make a commitment to brushing regularly, it's important to be aware that this is only one thing you'll need to do. Whilst you're healing from the dental implant surgery, you'll need to take antibiotic medication prescribed by your dentist. This is absolutely crucial because it helps prevent infection as you heal. You'll also need to become very aware of what healthy gum tissue looks like -- and monitor your gums on a daily basis. Inflamed, swollen or gaping gums are all signs that you've got an infection or that your body is rejecting the dental implants. Commit to doing a nightly gum check, and phone your dentist straight away if you notice issues. The sooner that you get help, the better the chance that the implant can be saved and remain in place.