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Are Dental Implants Right for You?

12 May 2015

Are Dental Implants Right for You?

If you have lost teeth, either to tooth decay, age, or unforeseen accident, you may be considering dental implants. Implants are a great alternative to traditional dentures and bridges. Unlike other tooth replacement methods, they remain in your mouth permanently. It’s the closest you can come to having your real teeth back!

These works especially well because the base of the implant is a titanium screw. Medical-grade titanium alloys are fully biocompatible. This means that, in a healthy person, the risk of rejection or infection is practically non-existent. Titanium also allows for osseointegration, i.e. the bone around it conforms to the shape of the titanium without soft tissue in between, making the implant stable.

However, not everyone is a candidate for dental implants. When you book an appointment with your dentist in Ottawa, they may evaluate your candidacy for the treatment based on any of the following factors.

Cancers and Cancer Treatments

Leukemia, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy all increase the risk associated with dental implants. Leukemia is a cancer that begins in the bone marrow and creates abnormal white blood cells, interfering with the body’s ability to heal itself or fight infection. People who are receiving chemotherapy, especially women, are highly susceptible to cancer-related osteoporosis as a result of decreased calcium. Additionally, radiation therapy can limit bone regrowth, making the chances of successful implant integration lower.

Chronic Illnesses

Your Ottawa dentist may also alert you to the effects that certain chronic illnesses have on your candidacy for implants. One such example is diabetes, which if not under control may negatively impact your body’s natural ability for self-repair. However, patients who take medication to manage diabetes symptoms may still be able to receive dental implants. Autoimmune diseases also create a higher risk of implant rejection, as a foreign object may be attacked by the body’s defenses. Even those who take immunosuppressant medication may be at a higher risk of infection. If you have a chronic health condition and aren’t sure if implants are right for you, please consult a physician as well as your local dentist in Ottawa.

Smoking

Tobacco use has been linked to many diseases (and also leaves terrible stains on your teeth – yuck!), including gum diseases which may severely inhibit implant acceptance. Even if you do not suffer from gum disease, the heat caused by smoking, as well as the intake of toxic by-products including nicotine, hydrogen cyanide, and hydrogen monoxide, can increase the risk of infection.

If you are considering getting dental implants and have any of the above health issues, or any other condition that you think may interfere with the procedure, please don’t hesitate to contact both your doctor and your Ottawa dentist. They have the expertise and knowledge necessary to help determine if implants are right for you.

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