Are Dental Implants Right for Me? Find Out If You're a Candidate
If you’re missing a tooth or two, you’ve probably come across dental implants in your research and are wondering if they’re right for you. While this restorative solution has helped millions of Americans restore form and function back to their smile, they aren’t ideal for everyone — at least, not immediately.
Our dental team has put this guide together that takes a look at what makes a good candidate for dental implant placement.
Sufficient Bone Density
For the dental implant to be successful, you’ll need sufficient jawbone density to support the fixture. If the bone is too weak, the implant may not be able to fuse with the jawbone. The fusion process — known as osseointegration — is integral for the implant to provide long-lasting support for the new teeth.
Healthy gums are critical for the success of a dental implant. They promote optimal healing after the placement procedure, helping secure the implant in place, and act as a barrier against bacterial infections. Patients with gum disease or other issues aren’t likely to be ideal candidates.
Certain autoimmune diseases and conditions — such as type 2 diabetes — can hinder the healing process, making implants more likely to fail. Certain medications can work against dental implants as well. That’s why it’s crucial to discuss your medical history and current medications with your dentist when exploring this restorative dentistry solution.
A Word on Smoking
We only recommend dental implants for non-smokers, as smoking can hinder your ability to heal properly and cause the dental implant to fail. Patients who currently smoke will need to quit several months before implant placement and not use any tobacco products during and after treatment.
Procedures That Help Patients Qualify for Dental Implants
Some individuals must undergo supplemental procedures before starting treatment.
- Periodontal therapy: As mentioned earlier, your gums should be healthy before getting dental implants. Your dentist can eliminate harmful bacteria and restore your oral health with nonsurgical periodontal therapy.
- Bone grafting: If tooth loss has resulted in significant enough deterioration of the jawbone, you may need a bone graft. This procedure involves taking bone from another area of the body or using special bone grafting material to build up the jawbone before placing an implant.
- Ridge augmentation: This common dental procedure is often done immediately following tooth extraction and is used to help shape the jaw to its original shape. Since dental implants require bone to support their structure, this procedure may recommended.
Are You a Good Candidate for Dental Implants? Find Out with Our Team
Dental implants are the best way to treat missing teeth; it’s no wonder it’s one of the most popular tooth replacement options today. While the viability of dental implants is high if you are free of periodontal disease and are in general good health, not everyone may qualify immediately.
For more information about dental implants or any of the lifelike restorations they support — including dental crowns and dental bridges — get in touch with the team at our dental office in Wichita, KS, today.