If you have a failing tooth (or teeth), you may be wondering if a dental implant might be a workable solution for you. Implants take the place of your natural teeth. They are anchored to your jawbone, and topped with an artificial tooth. Dental implants have a similar success rate to root canals, when performed by a dentist or endodontist with significant experience doing them. They are not, however, the ideal solution for every patient.
Let’s take a look at some factors to consider before getting a dental implant.
What Important Factors Should I Consider Before Getting A Dental Implant?
Are there less invasive options that could save the tooth? In some cases, a tooth that is threatened by infection, decay, or advanced gum disease may be able to be saved. Root canal treatment and periodontal (gum) procedures may be solid alternatives; your dental provider will be able to discuss their potential to help you.
Have I discussed my health conditions with my provider? The endodontist or implantologist who performs your dental implant will conduct a thorough examination, and take images of your teeth. They will also ask about your medical history. You should discuss any serious conditions such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease. You should also let your provider know if you’re a heavy smoker or if you’ve had radiation therapy to your head or neck.
Will I need additional procedures to prepare for my dental implant? Depending on your individual circumstances, you may need a sinus lift, tooth extraction or removal of parts of your damaged tooth, bone augmentation, gum treatment, or other procedures to prepare for your dental implant. Your provider can explain the need for each procedure and how it fits in your treatment timeline.
Will I have to commit to multiple appointments over a number of months to complete the dental implant process? Depending on the approach that your provider recommends, you may need to come to a number of appointments to plan, prepare for, and undergo all the procedures that complete your dental implant. Discuss any scheduling constraints with your dental professional and their staff.
“To ensure that a dental implant is the right approach to improve your oral health, our staff will discuss all relevant factors impacting the process before treatment begins,” says Dr. Jacqueline S. Allen, who practices with the Phoenix Endodontic Group. “This ensures your treatment team has all the information needed to provide excellent treatment. It also gives peace of mind that you are making the right choice.”