If you’ve been living with gum disease and have lost teeth as a result, you may be wondering if you’re a candidate for dental implants. While most patients can qualify for dental implants, some may need preliminary procedures first to treat underlying conditions like gum disease. Dental implants need health bone and gum mass to function properly and look attractive. If you have gum disease, this condition affects these two critical structures. You’ll need to have your gum disease treated before your smile can safely be restored with dental implants.
What is gum disease?
Gum disease is a progressive condition that affects the health of your gum tissue, bone, and teeth. It begins when plaque is left to harden into calculus on the teeth below the gumline. This calculus releases bacteria that cause infection and irritation of the gum tissues. This is gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease. As the tissues begin pulling away from the teeth, they create pockets that can trap more plaque and bacteria. Over time, advanced periodontitis can cause irreversible damage to the gums and bone and even lead to tooth loss.
Treating your gum disease
To qualify for dental implants, your gum disease must be treated first. The bacteria need to be eradicated from the mouth so that infection stops spreading and harming the vital tissues. For mild cases of gum disease, scaling and root planing can clean the mouth. This procedure involves using a dental scaler to remove the calculus from the teeth, then root planing (smoothing the surface) so that healthy gums can reattach. For advanced cases of gum disease, osseous surgery is needed. This surgery involves removing the diseased tissues, reshaping and rebuilding damaged bone, and reducing the periodontal pocket depth around teeth. Once proper health and bone levels have been restored, you are a candidate for dental implants!
The benefits of dental implants
Dental implants can permanently restore health and function to your smile. They look and feel natural, too, so you can enjoy a seamless, complete smile once again. The most versatile solution, dental implants can replace one, several, or a full arch of missing teeth. No matter how many teeth you’ve lost because of gum disease, you can have a beautiful and functional smile again with dental implants!
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