Many people have heard about the benefits of dental implants and wonder if they are candidates for the treatment. We’ll discuss this topic in detail below.
Am I an Implant Candidate?
As for many other types of surgery, you’ll need to be in good general health to be a candidate for a dental implant. Because the implant is placed in your jawbone, you need to have a minimum of bone present to receive the root form. If you don’t have enough already in place, a bone graft can usually provide it.
And dental implants require good dental hygiene after they are placed, so you’ll need to be motivated to take care of them. Overall, even though there are some health conditions that may contraindicate the treatment, if you are missing one or more teeth, you are probably a candidate. The illustration to the left above shows how the dental implant is placed into the jawbone. As it heals, the body brings more bone-building minerals to integrate the implant the same way tooth roots are.
Problematic Health Conditions and Dental Implants
As we mentioned above, certain health conditions may affect your ability to receive dental implants. Diabetes, hemophilia, and immune-deficiency disorders all create a higher risk of infections. The worse your condition, the higher the risk. If diabetes is uncontrolled or if your immune system is seriously compromised, you will probably not be a good candidate. Severe osteoporosis can also be a contraindication. In addition, research has shown that people who smoke are nearly three times more likely to have an implant fail, and again, the more you smoke, the greater the likelihood of failure.
In addition, if you are pregnant or expecting to become pregnant, it is a good idea to put off receiving an implant. Heavy smoking can complicate healing and reduce the likelihood of successful implant integration. And finally, alcohol and other substance abuse issues cause health problems that can interfere with successful treatment and make it less likely that the required after-care would be followed.
Choosing a Qualified Dentist
The most important step you can take to make sure that your dental implant treatment is successful is to choose a dentist who has chosen to pursue the advanced, postdoctoral training necessary to provide high quality dental implants. And it is usually a good idea to consult with a dentist before making the decision about whether or not you are a candidate. A complete examination and review of your medical history will make your dentist ideally qualified to help you make that determination.
If you would like to find out more, read our Dental Implants page. Dr. Root offers a brief complimentary consultation specifically to help you decide if you are a candidate. And if you feel comfortable with proceeding, we can go ahead and get you in for a complete examination. We’ll be happy to help you find an appointment time that will fit your schedule. Please call our office or complete our Request an Appointment form online.