Can my child get dental implants?
Unfortunately, no. Children and young teens are not recommended for implants because their bodies, jawbone and teeth are still in development. As they continue to grow, installing a dental implant could be painful or hinder their development. Older teens may qualify, with the consensus of Dr. Sonny Kim here at Advanced Family Dentistry or their dentist.
How will a dental implant treatment affect my daily life?
The dental implant process is typically divided into three steps: the embedding of the implant fixture, placement of the abutment, and the restoration or crown. Following your original implant surgery, you want to allow time for healing and the osseointegration process. You may want to restrict chewing on that side of the mouth or limit your diet to softer foods. Otherwise, you may travel and go about your daily life as normal.
What happens if I don’t get dental implants?
Tooth loss can be devastating to your oral health if neglected for a long time. Some patients may assume that the area will heal on its own, but that is rarely the case. Most often, the jawbone depleted as a result of the tooth loss, putting further strain on your remaining teeth. This additional stress could cause your other teeth to shift, break or fall out, leading to even more tooth loss. If you lost the tooth as a result of tooth decay or gum disease, the bacteria that caused these conditions can worsen your overall oral health.
Facial-wise, excessive tooth loss can lead to wrinkling, a hollowing of the cheeks, and lines across the face. This can make you appear older than you actually are, and you may feel self-conscious about your appearance.
What are dental implants made of?
Although some patients assume that dental implants are simply made of metal, in actuality, they are made of titanium, a biocompatible alloy that is functional with human bone and tissues. This is the same material used in medical devices. The crown that caps the dental implant is made of porcelain or other ceramic, and shaped and colored to mimic a real tooth. Our patients say that their friends and family have had trouble telling the difference between their real teeth and the dental implant.
What if I have a lot of tooth decay or gum disease?
If you lost a tooth due to cavities or gum disease, it is prudent to clean up those trouble spots before you move on with dental implants. This way, you’re giving your dental implant the best chance of success. At the same time, the jawbone can benefit from a dental implant, as the process of osseointegration can help the jawbone to recover. However, additional supplemental treatments may be needed to help gum tissue recover, depending upon the severity of your disease.