Am I A Good Candidate For Dental Implants?

Am I A Good Candidate For Dental Implants?

Posted by Steven H. Brenman, DMD on May 21 2019, 12:32 AM

If you have one or more gaps in your smile and are considering your options for replacing your missing teeth, you are almost certainly shortlisting dental implants as a viable choice. Dental implants are an extremely popular tooth replacement solution that is considered superior to conventional alternative treatments by the vast majority of patients. This is because dental implants represent a much more secure, durable, attractive and convenient way to restore your smile to its former glory.  Dental implants have two main components – a titanium screw/post and a bespoke porcelain crown. These two components are held together using a special connector called an abutment. What makes dental implants different to alternatives is that it works by replicating the natural root of the tooth that is missing. The role of this root is played by the titanium post which is surgically placed into the jaw where the bone heals around it to secure it permanently in place. A bespoke crown is then created in the perfect shape, size and color needed to resemble your missing tooth. A single missing tooth can be supported on an individual implant post. However, multiple implant posts can also be used to support bridges, partial dentures and even full arch dentures which, like single teeth, are so secure and so lifelike and comfortable that they are just like your natural teeth. 

Can I Get Dental Implants?

Unsurprisingly, many patients want to take advantage of this innovative and transformative solution. However, before you can go ahead and receive dental implants, you will first need to have your candidacy assessed. This is important because dental implants may not be the right solution for every patient, or you may need to have some preparatory work completed before you undergo a dental implant procedure. Your candidacy assessment will take place at your consultation appointment where your implant surgeon will look at several factors. These include the following: 

Your Oral Health And The Condition Of Your Teeth

One of the most important things that your dental implant surgeon will be checking for is whether you require any other dental work to be completed at that time. This is essential because your teeth and gums will need to be in great condition if you are to have implants. Any areas of decay must be assessed and any broken or worn restorations must be replaced. You should also have no sign of gum disease. This is because this inflammatory condition can cause dental implants to fail if it isn’t under control.  

The Health And Condition Of Your Jaw

The titanium posts that will act as the anchor for your dental implants are surgically placed into the jawbone so that osseointegration – the process whereby the bone regenerates around the implant post to cement it permanently in place – can occur. However, for osseointegration to be successful, patients must have enough healthy bone in their jaw. Without it, the implant could fail and come out. Your jaw will be assessed using dental x-rays. If the quality and density of the bone is considered unsuitable, you may still be able to have dental implants but may first need a procedure known as bone grafting to ensure that there is enough healthy bone to secure the implant in place.  

Your Past And Current Medical Information

There is a small degree of risk with any dental procedure and dental implants are no different. For this reason, you will be asked for information about your past and current medical status. This will include providing details about:

  • Whether you are taking any medications currently
  • If you have any medical conditions
  • If you have had any serious oral health problems in the past
  • If you are pregnant, trying to conceive or currently nursing
  • If you smoke
  • If you consume substantial amounts of alcohol
  • If you take recreational drugs
  • How committed you are to taking care of your teeth

It is essential that you answer these questions honestly as if you don’t and you undergo a dental implant procedure, you could find that your implants fail (smoking is a big no-no for patients with implants since it can cause gum disease which will lead to complications including bone loss and implant failure) or that you are high risk for the surgery and could suffer complications as a result.  If you would like to discover if you are a good candidate for dental implants, our experienced and knowledgeable team would be delighted to evaluate your suitability. Please contact our offices to schedule a consultation. 

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Steven H. Brenman DMD

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