Healthy Living

How to Know You’re Ready for Dental Implants

If you are suffering from dental problems, are missing teeth, or are currently using dentures, then dental implants could be the right choice for you.

In my field, endodontics, the focus is on saving teeth. Saving teeth is not always easy as we have many factors working against us. Having a poor diet, bad habits, and certain illnesses can all effect our oral health. Most often tooth decay and disease can be prevented by correcting those things that are in our power such as diet, regular care and check ups. However, the key word is ‘prevented’. If you are concerned about your teeth, the best place to start is at your dentist’s office as this is where preventative care begins. If your dentist cannot correct the issue in-house, they may refer you to a specialist or an endodontist. Endodontists focus on diagnosing pain, performing root canal treatments as well as other procedures within the interior of the tooth. All effort is on saving the tooth and preventing further decay.

As mentioned above, we have many factors working against us and unfortunately, not all teeth can be saved. If the decay or disease is too far advanced, tooth loss eventually occurs. According to the CDC, nearly 1 in 5 of adults aged 65 and over have lost all of their teeth. Most people who are missing some or all of their teeth use partial or full dentures. Dentures are a quick fix and are the cheapest option upfront. However, dentures can affect speech and a person’s ability to chew. People report issues with dentures loosening and they can rub in areas causing sores. Partial dentures also pose a threat to other healthy teeth because they put pressure on them causing them to loosen. This can instigate a litany of further dental problems and operations which quickly offsets the initial cost efficiency of the dentures.

For every missing tooth, you lose 10% of your ability to chew. This can cause poor nutrition, not to mention frustration. As teeth continue to decay and oral health worsens, people are at risk for further infections and disease. These infections and diseases can lead to problems elsewhere in the body. Some possible progressions include: cardiovascular disease, dementia, respiratory infections, and diabetic complications. People who are missing teeth or are using dentures also report self-esteem and confidence issues, illustrating that oral health effects us physically as well as mentally.

If preventative care is no longer an option and you’re faced with the reality of dentures, you have another option- dental implants. Unlike crowns, bridges, or dentures, implants are not just a cosmetic fix. They completely mimic real teeth. Creating an anchor into the jaw, the implant imitates your tooth’s root allowing the bone to attach to the implant. This fusion maintains your jawbone’s natural structure allowing you to eat, speak and smile like normal. Because the implants integrate with your bone, they lessen your chance of bone loss and gum disease.

In my 20 years as a practicing endodontist I have saved many teeth, but I have also seen many people come in too late. I have also seen, firsthand, the complications that dentures or partial dentures cause. After seeing the frustration and pain that my patients experienced, I chose to open my first dental implant clinic. I have seen thousands of patients who come in uncomfortable and leave pain-free and smiling. As we age, it’s important to keep both our body and mind healthy. With tooth loss or decay, things as simple as smiling or eating can be a struggle. Implants can change your life so before settling with dentures, do your research to see if dental implants are the right choice for you. EON Clinics

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    Jim Maurer

    57 years old–one missing front tooth! Just got a partial-looks-great-I HATE it,I have a disability and its for me to put in, Hard to talk,hard to chew!!

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