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We're talking about dental implants with local dentist Dr. Fred Guerra, DMD with Guerra Dental. Dr. Guerra tells me there are things your dentist should consider, and be discussing with you before you get an implant.
“Implants are not a replacement for your natural teeth, they are a replacement for no teeth or missing teeth. Implants, just like natural teeth, need care. If you've had a predisposition to losing your natural teeth through gum disease or other reasons implants can also have similar issues. Implants can become infected so maintenance of an implant is critical.”
Because implants need to be taken care of just like a real tooth, there are many factors a dentist should consider before performing an implant procedure.
Dr. Guerra says, “There are a host of factors that we (as dentists) need to take into account. For example, if the patient has a very high lip line and they show a lot of gum tissue, they may not have adequate bone to anchor the implant, or they have a systemic disease. There are a host of subjects that we need to take into account.”
Based on those many factors, an implant may be able to be placed right away, or it may require a few steps that are performed one at a time over several months.
“If a patient would present with a fractured front tooth, and it's broken at the gum line, we're going to take some CT scans that will show three-dimensionally the volume of bone that the patient has in the area, so we can get a good idea even before we remove the remainder of the root whether they were a candidate at that time for getting an immediate implant. There are a lot of preliminary factors that we look at with what a patient presents. The bottom line is you need to have the bone in there to support a successful implant.”
Finally, Dr. Guerra says always make sure to have a discussion with your dentist and ask any questions you have about any procedure they are recommending. Also, never be afraid to get a second opinion.
If you have any questions about the health of your mouth, teeth, and gums make sure to follow up with a dentist. Dr. Guerra says you’re always welcome to reach out to his office if you have any questions.
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