Receding gums: Are dental implants still an option?

Upper Implants

Many patients have turned to dental implants to replace missing teeth, and with good reason. Implants outperform other methods aesthetically and structurally, and they require no more maintenance than any other tooth in the mouth.

Before placing dental implants, however, the implant dentist must be sure that the patient is an appropriate candidate and that all conditions necessary for the implant’s success are met.

When certain conditions are present in the mouth, additional treatment may be needed prior to implant placement. In particular, receding gums, which occur when the tissue moves toward the tooth’s root, may be cause for concern to your Plano implant dentist.

At a certain point, the gums will recede so much that the underlying bone begins to show through. In these cases, the titanium screw that is the dental implant may be visible, too, undermining the goal of a tooth replacement method that results in a re-creation of the natural tooth.

Additionally, gum recession can eventually lead to bone loss when left untreated. This could cause implant failure.

Fortunately, receding gums can be treated. A surgical procedure commonly known as a gum graft can correct this condition. In performing a gum graft, the oral surgeon removes a piece of soft tissue from the roof of the mouth and transplants it into the site of recession. Abnormally thin gums may also need to be grafted to ensure that the implant is not visible through the gum, even if the gum line is in the proper position.

If you’ve had an intervention to reverse gum recession, it’s important to take steps to prevent the condition from recurring after the implants have been placed. Maintain a good oral hygiene routine, keep your semiannual dentist appointments and quit smoking to increase your chances of implant success.

Patients who have noticed that their gums are receding should inform the implant dentist in advance of implant placement to determine the best course of action.

For more information and to schedule a consultation, please contact Plano Smile Studio at 972-398-2550.