I’m finally at a point in my life where I have access to dental insurance. It’s been a while since I’ve had consistent dental care and unfortunately, I’ve lost several teeth due to advanced periodontal disease. My gum line is very low and I’m wondering if I could get implants instead of dentures? — Mike
When you need to replace missing teeth, there’s no doubt that implants are a great choice for several reasons. With dentures, you lose at least 50% of your chewing efficiency simply because they don’t stay in place. With dental implants, you can eat normally and they will also help preserve your jawbone and prevent facial collapse – a condition that happens over time when you are missing teeth. When the jawbone is no longer supporting teeth, the body will begin to absorb the minerals and use them elsewhere in the body. If you suffer from facial collapse, eventually there will be no bone left, making it nearly impossible to wear dentures. Your face will also start to look sunken in, making you appear much older than you really are.
Are you a good candidate for dental implants? The answer to that question will depend on your overall health and whether or not you’ve had a lot of bone loss due to the advanced periodontal disease. You may need some bone grafts in order to provide enough bone to hold the implants. It’s certainly worth checking into, but just be sure you find an experienced dentist who has done a lot of dental implants and clocked many hours of continuing education in the area.