Losing a tooth can leave a gap that not only appears unsightly, it can cause instability in the jaw and weakness in the gums that can lead to long-term dental concerns. For those who are able to save a cracked or damaged tooth, crowns and bridges are viable options. But what if the tooth has been extracted and you are considering an implant? Before you and your dentist commit to the process, you will want to know: are dental implants right for you? In Doral, Florida, Dr. Belkis Del Puerto is often asked this question, especially by those who are unfamiliar with implants. Here’s what she tells her patients.
Dental implants are the most pragmatic and permanent dental procedure for replacing a missing tooth. Not only do implants provide a permanent solution to restore your smile, they look and feel like your own teeth, meaning you can brush and floss them as you would your natural teeth. With implants there is no soaking overnight in solutions or slippage as there would be with dentures or bridges. Implants are designed to perfectly match your permanent teeth, and they are your best choice for preserve the structure of your jaw and face. With implants, you can expect to eat, smile and sleep without any concern; plus they won’t rub or irritate, meaning there is no risk of bacteria build-up or painful lesions.
Ideal Candidates for Dental Implants
According to Dr. Del Puerto, an ideal candidate to receive implants would be a patient who has good oral health – to include gum tissue to accommodate the implant. Generally, a sustainable presence of healthy bone in the jaw is necessary to secure and support the implant. She points out that, in cases where some bone in the jaw has been lost or removed, a person may still be a good candidate, however, the lost bone must first be replaced/rebuilt using procedures made specifically for this purpose.
Unsuitable Candidates for Dental Implants
In most cases, good general and dental health means you are a good candidate for an implant. However, Dr. Del Puerto notes there are a number of unique conditions whereby receiving an implant may not be advisable, for example, a young person whose jawbone has not yet fully developed. Dr. Del Puerto discourages those who smoke against getting implants; the same is true of those who use chewing tobacco or drink excessive amounts of alcohol. Those who have been prescribed certain medications like blood thinners, as well as steroids and other drugs that suppress the immune system, should hold off on implants until they are off the medications. The same is true of women who are pregnant; they should wait through their term before undergoing the implant process. People who have bruxism – grinding or clenching their teeth – should think twice before getting implants until they can resolve or overcome their habit. She recommends patients who have chronic or systemic illnesses such as unmanaged diabetes, connective tissue illnesses, hemophilia, immune deficiencies, or gum disease to avoid getting implants to have that discussion with their medical providers before receiving a consult for implants.
Dental Implants with Dr. Del Puerto
In most cases, precluding any of the potentially disqualifying factors listed above, a healthy person can enjoy a lifetime of benefits with dental implants. The only way to know for sure is to meet with a doctor who has expertise in restorative dentistry and is a trusted practitioner when it comes to implants. In Doral, that expert is Dr. Belkis Del Puerto of Smiles for Doral. If you want to know if implants are right for you, or if you are simply searching for a great dentist for you and your family, call Smiles for Doral at (305) 597-2227 or schedule an appointment online. Dr. Del Puerto looks forward to helping you reveal your brightest smile!