Candidates for Dental Implants
If you have missing teeth, it is likely that you are considering dental implants to replace them. Dental implants are considered the superior solution for restoring teeth that to their unique design, which replicates not only the visible part of the tooth but also the root. It does this by using a titanium post which is surgically placed into the jawbone, which is then topped by a customized crown. The result is a restoration that looks, feels and behaves more like a natural tooth than any other tooth-replacement solution.
Although they have the highest success rate of any surgically implanted device, dental implants are not necessarily suitable for every patient and you will need to be comprehensively assessed before you can be approved for the process. Here are some of the defining elements that make someone a good candidate for dental implants.
You Have One or More Missing Teeth
Dental implants are suitable for patients with one or more missing teeth. If you have a larger gap where number of teeth that were close together have come out, you may be eligible for an implant-supported bridge or denture. This is where a bridge or denture is supported on dental implant posts, rather than using other teeth or adhesive.
You Have Otherwise Healthy Teeth and Gums
All good candidates for dental implants should have healthy teeth and gums. This means that they need to be free of decay or damage, and there should be no sign of gum disease. This last point is particularly important since gum disease is the natural enemy of successful dental implants and could cause your implants to fail. This is because advanced gum disease can destroy gum and bone, which will be responsible for holding your implants in place.
You Are in Good Overall Health
Your implant dentist will ask you questions about your oral health and general health to determine if you are a good candidate for dental implants. This is necessary because certain medical conditions mean that patients would be at increased risk from at least one aspect of the procedure. You will also be asked whether or not you smoke. Smoking can inhibit the healing process of an implant, increase your risk of complications, and make you more likely to suffer from gum disease, which could compromise the integrity of your implants. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t have implants. There may just be additional considerations that need to be made.
You Have a Healthy Jaw
The health and quality of your jawbone are extremely important when it comes to qualifying for dental implants. This is because the success of dental implants relies almost entirely on the natural healing capabilities of the bone. When the implant posts are placed, the bone is stimulated to heal around them, and it is this that secures them permanently in place. If you don’t have enough healthy bone in your jaw, the implant won’t be secure, and the process could fail. The suitability of your jawbone will be assessed using x-rays that will allow your implant dentist to evaluate the bone.
You are Committed to Your Oral Health
It is important to go into an implant procedure with a commitment to your long-term oral health. Brushing, flossing, and visiting your dentist regularly is essential if your dental implants are to stay in the best possible condition and looking healthy and attractive. A robust cleaning routine is also essential to protect you against infection during the implant procedure. Your dental implant dentist will want to be sure that you are fully committed to taking care of your restoration before you are approved as a candidate for the procedure.
For more information about candidacy for dental implants, or to schedule an appointment for a consultation with our dental implant experts, please contact our dental office in Los Altos, CA today.