You’ve lost one or more teeth, and with them, your beautiful natural smile and perhaps your self-confidence. So what can you do?
You may be an ideal candidate for dental implants to restore your smile, confidence and chewing ability. These are artificial teeth that are surgically placed into your jawbone and look indistinguishable from natural teeth.
Every patient must undergo a comprehensive evaluation to determine if they are good candidates for dental implants. When gauging implant candidates, dentists think about anything that might affect the long-term prognosis of the implant, such as assessing the ability of the person to heal well and considering anything that may have a negative impact on bone metabolism.
To receive dental implants, you need to undergo surgery that involves sedation and recovery, so you have to be healthy. If you’re in good health, you’ve already passed the first criteria for having implants fitted.
Here are other ways to tell if you’re a suitable dental implant candidate.
Your mouth needs to be in tip-top health before you can receive implants. If you have active gum disease, the dentist will not be able to go forward with the procedure because of the risk of infection around dental implants. Bacteria can attack the gums, which could lead to the failure or loss of an implant.
Dental implants are a versatile solution for missing teeth, whether you’ve lost one, two or more through accidents, trauma or periodontal disease. Implants are also a good replacement for extracted teeth.
There is no upper age limit for having dental implants fitted. Provided you meet other requirements like being in good health, you can enjoy the many benefits of having dental implants fitted.
If you are a smoker, your dentist will ask you to stop before having implants fitted. It is still possible to have them if you’re a smoker; it’s just that the implants are more likely to fail. This is because smoking interferes with the healing process and causes poor oral health that encourages the growth of bacteria.
Dental implants need the jawbone for support, so you must have enough bone to anchor them. After tooth loss, jawbones begin to lose bone mass and weaken. When too much bone mass has been lost, a dental implant can’t fuse sufficiently to the jaw. Therefore, even if it does hold for a while, it will become loose from chewing over time. However, if you have inadequate bone or the jaw is too thin or soft, you may still be a suitable dental implant candidate with the help of a bone grafting procedure.
For a host of reasons, not everyone is a good candidate for dental implants. These include:
• You are pregnant. Potentially higher stress levels and anxiousness resulting from having a dental procedure may harm the baby.
• You are 18 years or younger because your jawbone is still growing.
• You have certain medical conditions such as uncontrolled diabetes, hemophilia, connective tissue disorder and cancer. If you have an existing medical condition, tell your dentist. You may still be a suitable candidate for dental implants depending on the nature and severity of your illness or disorder.
• You take recreational drugs.
• You drink heavily. Alcohol can affect the blood’s ability to clot, which can cause complications during surgery. Therefore, your dentist will ask you to quit alcohol for the duration of your treatment and the subsequent healing period.
• You have had radiotherapy around your jaw or head and neck. This is because the treatment is likely to have caused some damage to the jaw, which increases the risk of complications and dental implant failure.
The only real way of knowing whether or not you are a suitable dental implants candidate is for a dentist to perform a dental exam and image the area.
If you have ever felt self-conscious about missing teeth, why not schedule a FREE dental implant consultation to see how they might be able to help you. Call us on (314) 469-6429 or use our online booking form. We’ll be able to tell you if you’re an excellent dental implant candidate and what you can expect from the procedure.
Note that once you’ve got your million-dollar gleaming white smile back, you’ll need to take care of your implants, so they last for a long time. Like natural teeth, they require regular brushing and flossing and benefit from regular check-ups with your dentist.