If periodontal disease has left you with some missing teeth, you may be looking for a way to restore your smile. Thankfully, dental implants are a great way to do it in a way that is permanent. Before you can have dental implants installed, you must get an examination to figure out how healthy your gums and jawbone are for the procedure. By knowing what to expect for the examination and treatments for potential problems, you'll be prepared for what's ahead.
The Pre-Surgery Exam
The first step will be to find out how your teeth fell out. When the issue is due to periodontal disease, it's likely that you have other oral health problem that will need treatment. One possibility is an abscess, which is a toxic lump filled with pus. Another potential problem is with your pulp chamber, which is that area found below each tooth that contains blood vessels and nerves.
There will also be a thorough examination of your jawbone as well, since a healthy jawbone is a vital requirement for getting dental implants. An x-ray will be taken, which reveals if you will need a bone graft or not. A bone graft is only necessary if your jawbone is weak, and it's a typically a problem for those that have had issues with periodontal disease in the past.
When you have issues with your pulp chamber or an abscess, you'll need to have a root canal performed. The process involves drilling into the tooth above the problem area to reach the tooth's pulp chamber. The blood vessels and nerves that are dead will be removed, and abscesses will be drained as well. The dentist then fills in the tooth just like a root canal.
For issues with a weak jawbone, dental implants cannot be installed until you get a bone graft. The process involves removing a portion of the jawbone that is healthy, and placing the bone in the area where your jawbone is weak. It's possible to use material from an artificial jawbone as well. Once the area heals and your dentist is satisfied with the strength of the jawbone, a dental implant can be installed.
Your dentist does the exam and treatments because they want to ensure that your body does not reject the dental implant. If the surgery is successful, your dental implants have the potential to last the rest of you life. For more questions about dental implants, set up a consultation with a local dentist (like those at Dental Services Of Rochester).