When you have missing, damaged, or loose teeth, it can be embarrassing and/or uncomfortable to smile. Dental implants offer a viable option for tooth replacement, but not everyone is a good candidate for treatment. Understanding the guidelines that make a good dental implant candidate, making necessary changes, and exploring additional dental options can have you smiling confidently again.
Ideal dental implant candidate
Dental implants can help those who may require tooth removal soon or who have already lost a tooth or teeth. However, there are certain factors that help determine if you’re the ideal candidate for dental implants, including:
- Good oral health – no gum disease
- Adequate health for surgery
- Enough bone to support dental implants
- No tobacco use
For individuals who meet all the of the above criteria, dental implants are a viable solution to tooth loss. Even those who don’t meet these qualifications can take steps to help improve their oral health and increase their chances of receiving successful dental implant surgery.
Stop tobacco use to increase likelihood of dental implant success
Tobacco use is detrimental to your overall health and this includes your oral health. When you smoke or use chewing tobacco, it increases the risk of gum disease, implant failure and impacts bone healing. Sometimes in smokers, dental implants fail because the body creates fibrous tissue around the implant instead of bone and this tissue is too soft to secure the implants. Nicotine found in cigarettes, e-cigarettes and nicotine gum can also increase the risk of implant failure and chewing tobacco is worse and can lead to oral cancer.
Prevent and treat gum disease for successful dental implants
During gum disease (periodontitis), infection attacks your gums, bones and the ligaments that hold your teeth and it’s the biggest cause of tooth loss in adults. Gum disease can also cause dental implant failure when the bacteria attack the bone around the implant. Preventing and treating gum disease gives your mouth a better chance of successfully accepting dental implants.
Improve overall health prior to the dental implant procedure
For someone who is overall good health with no major health issues, dental implant surgery poses few risks. However, for people who have heart conditions or sleep apnea, there’s the risk of problems associated with the anesthesia used during the implant procedure. Patients who are unsure if there health is good enough for dental surgery should consult with their general practitioner about ways to improve their health.
Explore solutions for limited bone support to make dental implants a possibility
If someone has limited bone available for the support of dental implants, they still have options such as a bone graft that can make dental implants a possibility for them. Bone grafts are sometimes placed during the dental implant procedure or at some period before the implants so it has time to heal.
Alternatives to dental implants
If, after a consultation with our dental professional, it’s decided that you’re not a good candidate for dental implants, there are still alternative options available. These options include dental bridges and dentures, both of which have improved over the years with new innovative dental techniques.
The best way to know if you’re a good candidate for dental implants is to talk to your cosmetic dentistry professional so you can find the best treatment to restore you confident smile. Contact Greater Baltimore Prosthodontics today to learn about our dental implant and tooth replacement options.