Gum disease is a common problem for many Americans. When left untreated, gum disease can lead to severe tooth loss, but a dental implant can help. Before you can start the procedure, however, you'll need healthy gums and a healthy jawbone. If you would like to know more, keep reading.
Treat Your Gum Disease
Before you can get dental implants, your dentist will want you to treat any gum disease. Gum disease comes in the form of gingivitis and periodontitis. Both involve infection in the gums, but periodontitis is more severe and attacks the jawbone.
Since gum disease is an infection, treatment usually involves some form of antibiotics. Your dentist may suggest a special mouth rinse, or antibiotic "chips" may be inserted between the gums and teeth to better attack the bacteria.
Talk About Gum Restorative Procedures
Depending on the severity of the gum disease, you may be able to start the implant procedure as soon as the infection is dead. However, while the effects of gingivitis are often reversible, the effects of periodontitis are more severe, and your body can't reverse them on its own.
Periodontitis can lead to severe gum recession and gum loss. This means there is less support for the dental implant. Similarly, periodontitis can cause your jawbone to weaken. Luckily, you can talk to your dentist about restoration procedures like a gum graft, which can remove gaps between teeth and gums. In some cases, tissue grafts (both gum tissue and bone tissue) may be needed.
Choose Your Implant
There are multiple implant options. Single implants are great for replacing one tooth, but if you had severe gum disease, you may have multiple missing teeth. In this case, a dental-supported bridge may be a better choice. These work like traditional bridges, but the bridge is supported by implants instead of teeth. This means the bridge can be larger to replace more teeth.
For patients with no teeth, implant-supported dentures are a great option. They work like regular dentures, so you can remove them, except they have special connectors, so they can be locked in place.
Keep Caring for Your Gums
As long as you keep caring for your teeth and gums, the implant should remain durable and last a long time. However, your gums and the implant have a delicate relationship. Caring for your teeth and gums means less bacteria to irritate gums, reducing the risk of a future infection. At the same time, the dental implant helps promote a strong jawbone.
If you have missing teeth due to gum disease, you may feel hopeless. However, dental implants can help after you've gotten your gum disease treated. If you would like to know more, contact a dentist in your area today.
For more information on dental implant treatment, contact a professional near you.