If you're suffering from the advanced stages of gum disease, and you're going to be losing your permanent teeth as a result, you may be considering dental implants. Dental implants provide a multitude of benefits, including the fact that they're a permanent replacement for your missing teeth. However, the decision to have dental implants shouldn't be entered into lightly. Because the procedure requires surgery, you'll need to make sure that you're fully prepared. Here are four steps you'll need to take before you commit to dental implant surgery at a practice like Pittsburgh Dental Spa.
Make a Commitment to Quit Smoking
If you smoke cigarettes, you'll need to make a commitment to quit before you undergo the implant procedure. Cigarette smoking can interfere with the healing process, leaving you susceptible to post-operative infections and implant failure. One reason for this increased risk is due to the fact that cigarette smoking interferes with circulation and blood flow. Before you decide on implants, make sure you're ready to stop smoking permanently.
Get Your Medical Issues Under Control
If you suffer from medical conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure, you'll need to get those under control before you have implant surgery. Uncontrolled diabetes can deplete your immune system and interfere with your body's ability to heal properly. Unfortunately, that can lead to post-operative infections, implant failure, and other health-related problems. High blood pressure can put you at risk for complications during surgery. Before you undergo implant surgery, be sure your medical conditions are under control. It's also important that you let your dentist know about about any pre-existing medical conditions you may have.
Know the Health of Your Gums and Jaw Bone
If you've been diagnosed with periodontitis, you may have suffered permanent damage to your gums and jaw bone. If you've suffered significant bone loss, you may need to go through extensive bone grafting as part of your implant procedure. Bone grafting can be quite a lengthy process, which means you may be without teeth while you wait for new bone to develop. Before you decide on dental implants, make sure you know the health of your gums and jaw bone. You'll also want to know how long you'll be without permanent teeth.
Obtain at Least Two Opinions Prior to Surgery
If you've decided to go through with the dental implant procedure, be sure to get at least two opinions prior to surgery. This is particularly important if you do suffer from pre-existing medical conditions or you've suffered significant bone loss due to periodontitis.