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If a missing tooth does not show up in the front of your smile, you may be tempted to ‘let it slide” for right now. But don’t let it slide for too long! Even though you still may able to socialize without feeling self-conscious, and aren’t camera-shy yet, there is more to your teeth than good looks! For example, having a full set of teeth allows you to bite and chew your food properly. You can also speak clearly when all your teeth are present, accounted for and in good shape. However, even without one or two teeth, plaque and bacteria can still build up on your gums, and wait patiently for their chance to attack the enamel of your other teeth, causing cavities. And this time, your front teeth may not be spared. Over time, your teeth can start to drift out of alignment because of those empty spots, and cause a whole new set of problems. So, even if that gap isn’t visible to everyone, it may still become a problem.

If you are shy a tooth or two, you can always talk to our dentist, Dr. Brett Langston about dental implants. Implants have some real advantages over other dental restorations. For example, they are permanent, and can be brushed and flossed just like your natural teeth, and require no special care or cleaning. Since missing teeth frequently cause the jaw bone to deteriorate, implants make a great replacement since they are placed directly into the jaw and stimulate the growth of the bone. This makes the implant sturdy and your jaw bone stronger.

Most people are excellent candidates for implants. However, there some people who may need to look at other replacement options. There may be temporary conditions that keep you from having them. For example, if you are pregnant, you may not be able to have implants until after your baby comes. Or, if you are young enough that you jaws have not stopped growing, you may need to wait a while. You need your gums and jaw bone to be healthy for an implant to be successful, and depending on your oral health, you might need a bone or gum graft before you have an implant.

If you smoke or use tobacco, that could be a deal-breaker if you aren’t willing to quit. Tobacco makes it harder for your gums to heal after a surgery, and is a big factor in gum disease. If you are a heavy drinker or use drugs and don’t want to make some lifestyle changes, then you might want to discuss other options. One of the biggest factors is making sure that your implants serve you well is whether or not you are committed to their success. If you are not willing to follow the dentist’s instructions when it comes to your aftercare and follow-up visits, and if you don’t intend to brush, floss and see your dentist for your routine visits, implants may not be for you. There may be other factors that are beyond your control such as health problems, medication or cancer treatments that may keep you from having implants. But remember that even if you are not a candidate for implants, there are other options for completing your smile.

If you would like to find out more about dental implants in Decatur, Georgia, we would love to see you at Dental Implant and Aesthetic Specialists of Atlanta for an exam and consultation. Just call (404) 321-4588 today, and we’ll help you plan your visit.