Dental implants are a more permanent dental solution than other types of dental procedures meant to replace missing teeth. You can use dental implants to replace an entire smile for a more natural set of teeth, or you can have a single dental implant put in where you've recently lost a tooth due to age, decay, or damage.
Dental implants are an alternative to dentures, but they're not for everyone. Cost is a major factor to getting dental implants, and you have to also have healthy gums and jawbones in order to have the most successful results. That being said, around 97% of dental implant procedures are fully successful after the patient heals and more and more people get them every year.
To best prepare for getting dental implants in the future, use this guide to help you. There are many reasons why you might need dental implants, so it's wise to consider your oral health future now and discuss the following red flags with your dentist.
You smoke or use tobacco
Using tobacco or smoking can cause a malady of oral health concerns, and studies show that tobacco users can be more likely to have loose or missing teeth. If you can, cut back on smoking or using tobacco or quit entirely. Your dentist can give you special mouthwash and toothpaste to help improve your smile as a user of tobacco, but odds are, you may lose some teeth due to the habit so it's wise to be prepared for possible dental implants in your future.
Keep in mind though, that smoking and tobacco affect your jawbone and gum health as well as your teeth, so in order to get dental implants put in, you may have to quit the habit for a short time. Discuss this possibility with your dentist.
You have a history of gum disease
Gum disease is a leading cause of tooth loss. Unhealthy gums pull away from the teeth and expose teeth to decay and rot as well as cause them to become loose and fall out. Gum disease is best managed by having regular dental cleanings done and managing your oral health at home, but the condition can be difficult to clear entirely. If you have severe gum disease, then dental implants may be in your future.
Dental implants can help you get your smile back after losing one or more teeth. Discuss dental implants with a dentist for more information.