Dental implants have revolutionized the options for replacing missing teeth. This innovative treatment doesn’t rely on healthy, natural teeth to support the restoration, but instead is a freestanding solution that works by anchoring the artificial tooth directly into the jawbone. This design gives dental implants the robust, secure, and functional reputation for which they are known.
However, every patient who wants to receive dental implants needs to undergo a consultation appointment. This appointment is carried out to assess your candidacy for the procedure and to make sure that it is the most appropriate treatment for your dental needs.
What makes someone a good candidate for dental implants? Most people who are accepted as candidates for the treatment meet the following criteria:
Before you can have dental implants, your provider will want reassurance that your teeth and gums are healthy. There is a very good reason for this. Not only does any outstanding dental work (fillings, crown repairs, etc) need to be completed to ensure the health of your mouth, but any gum disease that is present could severely compromise the success of your dental implants. This is because gum disease occurs when the soft tissue of the gums is infected by bacteria, which pass onto them from the plaque that forms on the teeth if we don’t brush them properly. Gum disease is a progressive condition and left untreated, it can compromise the integrity of the structures supporting the teeth or in this case dental implant, leading to tooth loss. In fact, gum disease is one of the leading reasons why people experience tooth loss and then look to replace their missing teeth with dental implants in the first place!
Dental implants are embedded directly into the jaw bone, giving them unrivaled strength and stability when compared to other dental restorations. This is because after they are placed, the bone heals back around the implant to anchor it permanently in place. If you don’t have enough healthy bone in your jaw, it may not heal adequately around the implant, causing the restoration to fail. Your dental provider will want to check on the health and quality of your jaw bone. If it’s found to be insufficient, you may be able to have a procedure called jaw bone grafting which will enable you to have implants at a later date.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ll know that smoking is bad for your health. However, you may be surprised to learn that it’s also bad for your teeth. This is because studies have found that smoking increases your risk of developing gum disease, which as we know, can affect the viability of dental implants. Smoking also makes it harder for the body to heal itself following surgery, and this can increase your risk of complications as well as it taking longer for you to recover.
Although dental implants require minimal maintenance, you will still need to take very good care of them and your natural teeth to keep them looking great and functioning properly. Your implant provider will need to be satisfied that you are committed to brushing, flossing, and visiting your dentist as per their recommendations.
If you would like to schedule a consultation to find out if you are a good candidate for dental implants, please contact our dental office today at (708) 980-0110.