Dental implants act like prosthetic teeth. They essentially replace every part of your natural tooth from root to cusp, so placing them is a pretty extensive process. That being said, your Bloomington dentist has been carefully trained to perform the procedure safely. Your dentist will take you through each step of the process, ensuring your jaw and gums are strong enough to support the implant. Once the procedure is complete, the dental implant will look, feel, and act like a real tooth. But are these teeth implants safe?
Are Teeth Implants Safe?
There are risks associated with every procedure. Fortunately, in the case of dental implants, these can all be easily mitigated by appropriate prep work. There are several great tooth replacement options, but dental implants are the only option that preserves your long-term jaw health. Other options, such as partial dentures or dental bridges, are not connected to the jaw bone. This means the jaw in that region of your mouth isn’t actively rebuilding itself, leading to atrophy over a prolonged period of time.
The only real risks you have to worry about are dental implant failure and infection. However, as long as the procedure is performed by a licensed dentist experienced with dental implants, those risks are minimal. Your dentist will ask for a full medical history to help determine whether or not you have any risk factors that could slow healing or increase your risk of dental implant failure. They will also x-ray your jaw to determine whether or not you have enough bone mass to properly support a dental implant. By taking these steps, your dentist is significantly decreasing the chance that you will have complications.
The Question of Grafts
If your x-rays and visual check-up show that you don’t have enough gum tissue or bone mass to support a dental implant, then you have two options.
- You may have partial dentures or a dental bridge placed instead.
- You can have a gum graft or bone graft, depending on your needs.
So, you should not proceed with a dental implant without having a graft if your dentist is concerned that your gums or jaw will not support the implant. Moving forward without the graft would significantly increase the risk of complications.
Ease of Grafting
Luckily, grafts aren’t that difficult to do for a professional oral surgeon. They simply take a bit of tissue and secure it to the area that needs bolstering. Then the new tissue is integrated into the original tissue to create a stronger gum or a stronger jaw bone.
For gums, the graft tissue is usually taken from the roof of your own mouth. For your jaw, the graft tissue is usually synthetic, making it a safe and relatively simple procedure. The only real downside to having grafts is that it does mean the whole process will take several months longer, but the wait is worth it if you want a dental implant that is going to last you for life.
Making the Right Choice for You
Whether you decided to go with dental implants or another tooth replacement option, Valley Alder is there to provide prosthodontics in Bloomington. All you have to do is schedule an appointment. From there your dentist will evaluate your current oral health and determine what your tooth replacement options are.
We advise replacing your missing teeth sooner rather than later. This way, you optimize your options and reduce the chances that you will require a graft. Are you worried that going to the dentist may be stressful or embarrassing? Just remind yourself that going in this one time is the first step towards getting your confident smile back.