Am I a Candidate for Dental Implants?
Having one or more missing teeth can not only interfere with your willingness to smile, it can impact your overall quality of life, too.
Dental implants are considered the gold standard in artificial tooth replacement. They are customized to blend in with your other teeth, making them look very natural. And, because they are anchored with the implant, they function just like real teeth, too.
Many people have the opportunity to take advantage of dental implants, but to do so successfully, there are a few criteria that must be met.
Do You Have Good Oral Health?
Dental implants require that you have good oral health. You want to reduce the chance of infection from the moment you have the oral surgery — throughout the life of the implant.
Having good oral health and a good oral hygiene routine is the only way to do that.
An oral examination will be performed by the dentist to determine whether or not you are a good candidate for implants. If you have any tooth decay, signs of gum disease, and the like, you will be required to address these things first before being able to move forward with dental implants.
Yes, you may still be a candidate for this treatment as long as you clear up any oral health issues first.
Brushing at least twice each day, flossing daily, and visiting your dentist a minimum of every 6 months for professional cleanings can ensure that you give your dental implants the best environment to thrive.
Do You Have Good Bone Density?
A post is implanted into the jaw bone where it is left to undergo osseointegration — a process in which the bone and post will fuse together. This is necessary in order to hold the artificial tooth in place. Otherwise, the implant will fail.
In order for successful fusion, a patient must have good bone density to support it. Since bone can dissipate over time for many different reasons, this can disqualify some patients from getting dental implants.
Undergoing bone grafting is a way to build up the bone so that it is strong enough for implants. Those patients willing to have this procedure should be able to have dental implants once it is healed.
Do You Smoke?
Most dentists will discourage smokers from dental implants. The reason is that smokers tend to be at higher risk of infection.
To reduce the chance of any issues that could lead to failed implants, most patients will need to kick the bad habit to be ideal candidates.
Do You Have Patience for Extended Dental Treatment?
Finally, it is important to recognize that getting dental implants is a process. It may involve multiple visits to the dentist, especially if any underlying dental work or bone grafting needs to be done.
There is a lot of waiting and healing, as well, such as waiting for each procedure to heal before moving on to the next step. Just the implant itself can take about 3 to 4 months to fully fuse to the bone.
You have to have patience and know that getting dental implants takes time — but the outcome is worth it. If you are not willing to wait, there are alternative options.
Find Out if You Are a Candidate for Dental Implants
If you are interested in dental implants, schedule a consultation with the skilled and experienced dental team at Leland Dental.
We will review your dental needs and discuss your options with you, creating a treatment plan to make sure that you have everything necessary for dental implants. Or, we will provide you with a recommendation for the best alternative.