Whether you're getting ready to have a tooth extracted, or you've already had one pulled and just want to replace it, your dentist may have mentioned the possibility of a dental implant. Implants are an ideal permanent solution for many extracted teeth, but the decision isn't one that you should make lightly. Here's a look at a few things that you should know as you're deciding if getting a dental implant is the right choice for you.
Why You Should Replace A Missing Tooth
One of the first things that you should know when you're debating a dental implant is why it even matters, to begin with. You might wonder why you even need to replace that missing tooth, especially if you had it extracted a while ago and have been seemingly fine since.
The truth is that your jaw bone and your dental alignment all depend on the position of all of your teeth. When you remove a tooth, you also remove the root that stimulates the jaw bone's stability in that area. As a result, your teeth will often shift in an effort to fill that hole. It happens gradually, over an extended period of time, so you may not have noticed it yet. However, left unaddressed, it will happen. That's why most dentists recommend that you replace a missing tooth with a dental implant. It preserves the jaw bone's health and keeps your teeth properly positioned.
Couldn't You Just Get A Root Canal?
Some patients would prefer to have a root canal and place a crown on the tooth, instead of having a problem tooth extracted and replaced with a dental implant. In some cases, this might be a viable solution. However, sometimes it just isn't feasible.
For example, if the tooth in question has deteriorated to the point that it isn't structurally sound enough for a root canal and crown, your dentist will advise against the practice. Additionally, if there are any cracks in the tooth, it will often be considered too unstable for a root canal because the tooth could break in the process.
In those situations, extraction and an implant will be the best dental treatment option.
How Should You Prepare?
Your dentist will have clear instructions for you to prepare for your implant procedure. One of the things that you will be advised to do is to quit smoking. Smoking cigarettes can actually slow your healing, which may increase your risk of infection and implant rejection. Ask your dentist about any other special considerations to help improve your chances of implant success. For more information, reach out to a local dental office, like Epic Periodontal and Implant Concepts.