Bridges are an excellent option for patients who don't qualify for implants. A bridge is a common dental restoration that can replace one or more missing teeth by literally closing the space they left behind. A fixed bridge is permanently cemented and only a dentist can remove it. Patients who want to replace missing or loose teeth often choose to get dental implants.
These implants are placed in the patient's jawbone and the gums are allowed to heal around the implants. A crown or artificial tooth is then placed over the dental implants. Patients are left with a strong and robust replacement of their natural teeth that can last for many years with proper care. However, dental implants aren't the best alternative for everyone.
For implants to be placed, the patient must undergo oral surgery. Therefore, the patient must be in good physical health. They must also have enough bone in the jaw to support the implants. If they have had chronic diseases such as diabetes or leukemia, they may not be a good candidate for dental implant surgery.
Finally, if the patient smokes, they may not be an ideal candidate to receive dental implants. We always hear that if you're going to have to replace a tooth, dental implants are the best option. There is a twofold reason for this. The first has to do with quality of life.
They'll be safer because they're anchored to the bone. The first criterion for obtaining dental implants is a healthy gum. Therefore, your dentist will not place a dental implant in your gum if you have gum disease. If an implant is placed in an infected gum, the infection will develop around the implant and cause a failure.
Therefore, treat the infected gum first before placing an implant. Implants need healthy jaws and gums to stay in place. The implant screw needs enough bone to hold, and the implant needs the gums to grow around the implant and provide additional support. If your jaw or gums aren't healthy or weak, implants may not be an option.
Many adults will be happy to learn that there is no upper limit on the age of eligibility for dental implants. As long as the patient has no significant risk factors and the jaw is healthy, implants can provide permanent dental restoration even in adults 80 years of age and older.