If you’re suffering from tooth loss, dental implants are usually the best solution. Dental implants are prosthetic teeth that are secured to the jawbone via an artificial root. They’re sturdy, comfortable, and function like natural teeth. After a while, many patients don’t even notice they’re there.
However, deciding on the best time to get dental implants can be challenging. At Ormond Beach Perio, we often recommend patients pursue implants shortly after tooth loss. Waiting too long to replace teeth can not only impact your bite and smile but can also lead to a wide range of other oral health problems down the road.
We also know the decision to get dental implants isn’t always easy. They can be expensive, and the entire procedure requires multiple appointments over a period of several months. The process can be a significant time commitment and investment. As a result, dental implants are a big decision that require a lot of consideration and planning.
If you’re considering dental implants, here are three things we often tell patients to consider when deciding whether it’s time to get the procedure.
1. The Quality Of Your Bite
Dentures, bridges, and crowns are all options following a tooth extraction. However, depending on the number and location of missing teeth, these solutions may change your bite. You might find chewing to be uncomfortable or at a minimum, it may take a few weeks or months to adjust. On the other hand, once implants heal, you can expect to feel like your old self again. Since dental implants behave exactly like real teeth, your bite should feel completely normal, and you shouldn’t experience pain or discomfort when chewing. Chances are, you probably won’t even notice a difference.
If tooth loss is causing problems with your bite or you’re concerned about the effectiveness of dentures or bridges, then it’s probably the right time to start talking to your periodontist about dental implants.
2. Your Jawbone Is Starting to Deteriorate
If you wait too long to replace a tooth following an extraction, it can cause your gums to sink and eventually could lead to jawbone deterioration. If this is happening to you, then it’s absolutely the right time to start thinking about dental implants.
In order to receive dental implants, your jaw must be strong enough to support them. If it’s not, your periodontist may have to perform a dental bone graft, which is a procedure where bone is removed from another area and used to add strength and density to the jawbone. While this procedure is effective, you’ll need to wait several months after the procedure before getting implants in order to allow your jaw and gums enough time to heal. If you’ve recently had a tooth pulled, you don’t want to wait until it’s too late. Start thinking about dental implants before your jaw deteriorates and a bone graft is necessary. By taking action sooner, you can potentially avoid this extra step.
3. Your Smile Is Impacting Your Self-Esteem
Tooth loss can not only lead to oral health problems, but it can also have a social and professional impact as well. A missing front tooth can be devastating for patients and can lead to serious self-esteem problems. You might be afraid to smile or talk, or you might feel self-conscious when socializing with others. If tooth loss is impacting your quality of life or self-esteem, you should see a periodontist right away. Dental implants are a life changing procedure that can make your smile as good as new.
There is no need for patients to suffer from tooth loss. Dental implants are a permanent, functional, and comfortable solution that can restore your bite and smile. The sooner you start preparing for dental implants, the sooner you can get back to feeling like your old self.
If you’re looking for a highly experienced periodontist who specializes in dental implants around the Ormond Beach area, contact Dr. Stuart Beauchamp at Ormond Beach Periodontics & Implant Dentistry. Our team can help you determine if dental implants are right for you.