There are numerous dental diseases and as many treatments corresponding to them. Most of the treatments are aimed at preserving the natural tooth, but if a dentist determines the tooth cannot be saved, the patient has to opt for some artificial replacement of his teeth.
Removable dentures, fixed bridges and dental implants are the ways to replace missing teeth.
So, the dental diseases which lead to the need of an implant are basically those which necessitate extraction or somehow result in the loss of a tooth. These include:
Severe Tooth Decay
Minor tooth decay can be treated by removing the decayed part and filling it with a restorative material. But if the caries has extended to the pulp (the soft, innermost past of the tooth), the patient might have to undergo a root canal treatment.
If the tooth is even not restorable with root canal treatment, then there is no choice but to extract it. It can be later replaced with an implant, if the patient is fit and willing for it.
Teeth which have fractured due to some accident or broken due to any other reason, and are beyond the stage of restoration by any method, will have to be extracted.
Periodontal Disease (Gum disease)
Periodontal means ‘around the tooth.’ Periodontal diseases affect the tissues adjacent to the tooth, including the periodontal ligament (which connects the root to the bone), bone supporting the roots and the gums.
Periodontal diseases may affect single, multiple or all teeth of a patient. They cause reddening, swelling and bleeding of gums, and eventually lead to the loosening and loss of teeth. The roots may become exposed and bone level is reduced in periodontal problems.
In such cases, the teeth become excessively mobile and have to be pulled out. Now, they can be replaced with implants, but not before the dentist determines the patient’s alveolar bone is healthy enough to receive and support the implant.
In case there is excessive bone loss, it may be necessary to restore adequate height of the bone with the help of bone grafts before placing the implant.