To implant or not to implant?... We have the answer!

So what are dental implants?

Dental implants are an alternative way to replace one or multiple teeth in the closest to natural way. They are made from durable titanium and are backed by a 99% average implant success rate. 

How do I know if I'm a candidate?

The ideal candidates for dental implants are in overall good oral health. These patients are typically lacking any periodontal disease or gum issues. This is not to say that with a little TLC from your general dentist or periodontist that you could'nt become eligible. There are a wide array of patients with extensive dental issues that rule themselves out because they think there is no chance they would be eligible. Advances in technology and procedures have made it possible for most people to achieve long term and successful dental implant therapy.

So where do I start?

The first step in any dental implant path is to start with establishing a relationship with a general dentist office. The general dentist will be the person responsible for establishing an overall treatment plan for you specifically. It is sometimes confusing as to whether or not the dentist provides the entire treatment from A to Z so let me clear things up if I can. 

Some general dentists are trained at placing dental implants, however, it is not their primary procedure in the office. The general dentist is however, highly skilled in crown placement which they perform frequently in office. General dentists will pair with periodontists and oral surgeons on more complex cases such as Teeth Express. 

In other words, the general dentist is the architect. They will design the treatment "house" best suited for you. And just like with a house, you will need to lay the foundation first. The foundation is the dental implants and bone work. And last, the house will be placed securely on it's foundation. This is the placement of a crown or denture on the implant(s).

How long will I be out of commission?

This is not the easiest to answer as everyone is different. Typically healing time for dental implants is 3-6 months depending on the position of the implant in the mouth. Patients may experience some tenderness and swelling in the area, but this is usually mild and subsides in a timely manner. But, like I said before, Everyone is different! I may need a pair of crutches for a stubbed toe while my teenage son will stub the same toe and run a marathon. 

Bottom Line

Do yourself a service and at least go check it out. Just know that as we age nutrition becomes increasingly important. And of course you could find this nutrition in smoothies, but really? I want to eat! I want to chew! I want to taste every bit of my yummy food. When you lose the ability to physically chew your food completely, you wind up swallowing larger pieces of food. The result of this can be digestive issues

At, Houston Oral Healthcare Specialists Dr. Cummings and team are highly knowledgable on the benefits of dental implants. I hope this was beneficial in helping you to make an informed decision about moving forward with your own personal journey!

Mary Gilley I'm a Professional Relationships Director for Houston Oral Healthcare Specialists. I've spent many years working chair-side with patients and know the concerns that many of them have. With that, I also know the misinformation that patients may have regarding their options for getting their oral health back! It's my passion to nurture and educate patients during their dental journey.

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