Think You're Ready To Do Dental Implants? Ask Yourself These Two Quick Questions First!

Dental implants can transform your smile, and in fact your whole appearance, by replacing missing teeth with natural-looking replicas. Implants can even improve the functionality of your mouth as a whole, allowing you to chew more effectively. While the benefits of dental implants can be significant, they are not right for everyone. Read on to learn the two quick questions you need to ask yourself before considering dental implants. 

How Healthy Are Your Gums? 

Healthy gums are necessary for proper support of dental implants, so it is important that you consider the overall state of your gums before considering implants. A quick visual examination can give you a good general idea of whether gums are healthy. 

  • Pale Pink Gums are typically healthy, making you a good potential candidate for dental implants.
  • Dark Pink Gums are not in ideal condition. This color may mean that gingivitis is present. Talk to your dentist about eradicating the problem - with careful attention to dental care, gingivitis can often be removed.
  • White or Very Pale Gums are unhealthy. This color may indicate infection, gingivitis, or damage from tobacco use. This damage may be reversible through good dental care, medication, or cessation of tobacco use.

The gum tissue will serve as the secondary support system for the implant, and is partially responsible for keeping the implant in the correct place. Thus, having a normal amount of healthy gum tissue is also important. If you are missing gum tissue for any reason, dental implants may not be possible. 

Has Your Jaw Been Damaged?

While the majority of people will be able to answer "no" to this question, there are still many people who have experienced jaw damage of some type during their lives. Since the primary metal support system for the implant is typically drilled directly into the jaw, a healthy jaw with full bone density is important for dental implants. Some things that could negatively impact jawbone density include: 

  • Osteoporosis: Osteoporosis doesn't just impact the spine - it can cause bone loss in the jaw as well. 
  • Broken Jaw: When the jaw is broken, it is possible that bone loss could occur during a surgical repair.
  • Bone Infections: Infections in the bone called osteomyelitis can cause bone loss in the jaw. When the jawbone is exposed to germs, or when an infection spreads to the jawbone via the gums, dead bone may eventually result. This bone may have to be removed surgically, which will permanently lower bone density. 

If you have healthy gums and a healthy jaw, you've passed the initial test for dental implants. The next step is talking to your dentist -- a gorgeous new smile could be in your near future! 

To find a dentist in your area, click this link or do an online search.