Despite Their Benefits, Your Dentist May Express Concern Based on Your Health
For many patients in Ottawa, dental implants are more than a simple cosmetic procedure. This treatment, which offers a much more permanent alternative to dentures, crowns, or dental bridges, can have a powerful impact on the overall integrity of your jawbone. As your dentist may explain to you, when you lose teeth, the bone that supported them will begin to lose its form and density – within a year, the width of the bone will decrease by 25%. If left untreated for long, and especially in cases where multiple teeth have been lost, the problem can eventually lead to jawbone resorption (breakdown of the bone material into fluid). For this reason, implant surgery is very highly recommended in healthy patients.
However, certain medical conditions and habits can limit one’s candidacy for the procedure. For smokers in Ottawa, dental implants may be off the table, depending on the severity of the habit. The inhalation of heated gases alone is bad for anyone’s mouth, as it can burn the oral cavity and damage the mouth’s tissues. Tobacco use also slows the mouth’s ability to heal itself – and an implant’s success rate is entirely dependent on the bone and tissue around it healing very specifically.
However, your dentist will likely warn you that certain diseases are even greater risk factors. Diabetes, for example, or other diseases that affect the body’s capacity for self-repair, can endanger the success of the procedure if not properly managed. If you are diagnosed with diabetes and are receiving effective treatment, your candidacy will increase.
Certain cancers and cancer treatments are also risk factors. Leukemia, for instance, is a family of cancers that are rooted in bone marrow, and affect the health of a person’s immune system by interrupting the healthy production of white blood cells. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy can be just as damaging to the body, and can severely decrease the chances of a successful implant surgery. In most cases, your dentist will advise you not to have the procedure done until treatments are complete.
Finally, it should be noted that for pregnant women in Ottawa, dental implant treatment should usually be delayed, as pregnancy itself is a process that puts a lot of stress on the human body and can affect its overall chemistry. Depending on a number of other health factors, your dentist may recommend that you put off treatment from anywhere to three months into pregnancy to after you have delivered.
Dental implants are a choice with many benefits, but not a choice to be taken lightly. They involve a serious medical procedure and rely on your body being able to repair tissue and bone for success. If you are unsure about whether or not you are a candidate for this procedure, talk to your dentist today.