If you have had dentures for a while now, you may find yourself wishing that you had qualified for dental implants instead, or if you've had dentures long enough, that dental implants were available when you got your dentures. If you are unfamiliar with dental implants, you should know that dental implants are individual false teeth or arches of teeth, referred to as All-on-Four dental implants. They are surgically inserted into your jaw's bone tissue. A successful procedure yields a permanently implanted prosthetic tooth or arch of prosthetic teeth.
How You Can Qualify for the Procedure
While dental implants have been an option for replacing your natural teeth for a number of years, initially, individuals who did not have enough bone tissue to support dental implants were ruled out as potential candidates for the procedure. But technology has advanced over the years. Today, there are ways to regenerate bone tissue. This makes the prosthetic tooth solution available to more people. It is particularly exciting for denture wearers who have diminished bone tissue and individuals who have lost bone tissue because they are missing teeth. So while you may not have originally qualified for the procedure, you may be able to get yourself to that point now.
What to Expect
If you decide to see if you can get rid of your dentures and replace them with dental implants, you can expect the following when consulting with your dentist:
Examination and Consultation
The initial appointment will involve the dentist evaluating your eligibility and explaining specifics about the procedure. This is an appropriate time to ask questions. Be prepared to answer medical questions and have a list of medications you take. The oral examination and your medical history will be used by the dentist to determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure. The goal is to have a safe procedure and successful implantation.
You may be advised that you will need a bone graft performed to regenerate bone tissue. If so, the dentist will explain the process and can help you begin preparing for it. Oral issues such as gum disease will also need to be addressed before a dental implant procedure can be performed. When the dentist determines that all factors that could cause implant failure have been addressed, they can schedule the procedure.
Before the surgery, your dentist will tell you anything you must do to prepare. Be sure to follow any instructions that he or she gives you.
During the surgery, dental implants are inserted into the jawbone. They must heal in place, integrating into the bone. When the process is complete they will mimic natural teeth.
You will have some restrictions for a few months after the surgery. This is considered the healing time, and it will require strict adherence to the dentist's orders. The restrictions are designed to reduce the chances of infection or dental implant failure occurring. You might be advised not to eat certain foods, and you need to take all of your antibiotic medications and notify the dentist immediately if you notice any signs of infection.
Individuals with All-on-Four dental implants will need to continue to see their dentists even though all of their teeth are prosthetic. This is to ensure that issues such as gum disease are identified in time. It is also the best defense against implant failure.