Are dental implants possible for me?

I haven’t been able to afford dental care for years. Now, I finally have dental insurance. Because of advanced periodontal disease, I’ve lost several teeth. Is it possible for me to get dental implants instead of dentures?

Cathy

Dear Cathy,

Abutment and crown being placed on dental implants

Dental implants are the best tooth-replacement option you can get, while dentures have many problems that come with them. For instance, even the best fitting dentures will reduce your chewing capacity by 50%. However, that’s not the worst part.

Your body recognizes when your teeth are gone. In an effort to be as efficient as possible with its resources, it begins to resorb the minerals in your jawbone to use elsewhere. This begins to shrink your jawbone. After about ten years, it becomes difficult to even keep your dentures in. This is known as facial collapse.

Getting dental implants prevents that because the implants serve as prosthetic teeth roots. Your body recognizes their presence and leaves the jawbone intact.

Gum Disease and Dental Implants

You will need to deal with your gum disease to be a good candidate for dental implants. Periodontal disease leads to bone loss, which may have been a contributing factor in your losing teeth.

Your dentist can help you get that under control. Once that is, you want to find a well-trained implant dentist. They need post-doctoral training in the procedure. You can look at Dr. Delaune’s credentials to get an idea of the type of dentist you want to find in your area.

He should run diagnostic tests, including a CT scan to make sure you have adequate bone and to plan the ideal positioning of the dental implants. Don’t be discouraged if you’ve lost too much bone. There is a procedure to repair that. You can have bone grafting done to restore the missing bone. Then you’ll be good to go on your implants.

This blog is brought to you by New Orleans Dentist Dr. Duane Delaune.