Am I a Candidate for Implants?
At Posh Dental, we offer dental implants as one of your options for replacing missing teeth. This advanced tooth replacement method involves the use of small titanium rods, which are surgically placed into the jawbone, to provide support for your replacement teeth. The implants act like the roots of your natural teeth. Their success relies on a process known as osseointegration, or the fusion of your jawbone to the titanium. Dental implants provide a multitude of benefits over traditional tooth replacement methods. Among the benefits, dental implants protect the health of your jawbone, preventing bone loss and the alteration of the jaw’s shape. While dental implants are the preferred method for replacing teeth, they are not always for everyone. So, how do you know if you are a candidate for implants?
You are Missing Teeth
Dental implants are used to replace missing teeth, so one of the most obvious qualifications for the treatment is that you are missing one or more teeth. Implants can be used in a variety of different situations, whether you are missing one tooth, or you are missing all of your teeth.
You don’t need to be missing teeth right now to be considered for dental implants. If you know that you will be undergoing a tooth extraction, dental implants can be discussed as a way to replace the tooth (or teeth) that is being removed.
You are at Good Health
When you receive dental implants, you undergo a surgical procedure. This procedure often involves a lengthy recovery time of several weeks to several months. To heal properly, you must be in good overall health. Any oral health issues, such as gum disease, must be treated before you can be considered for surgery. If you have any health conditions, such as heart disease or diabetes, it is important that your conditions be under control before we can perform the procedure.
You Don’t Smoke, Or You are Willing to Quit
Smoking, or the use of any other type of tobacco product, can significantly impact your ability to heal. Smoking slows blood flow, and it also restricts the oxygen content in your blood. To heal, your gums and bone will need nutrients and oxygen, both of which are delivered through the blood. Slower blood flow means a slower recovery. Smoking can also dislodge clots, which can cause a condition known as dry socket. Both slow healing and dry socket increase your risk of developing an infection as well as raise the likelihood of implant failure. To be considered for implants, you must be willing to quit smoking or at least abstain from smoking for a set period before surgery as well as while you heal.
You are an Adult
There are several people who are missing natural teeth who think that they are too old for dental implants. The good news is that you are never too old for implants, so long as you meet the other requirements. You can, however, be too young. The jaws of children and teens are still developing and growing. Placing an implant in an underdeveloped jaw can impede growth, and cause serious issues. The jaw typically stops growing in the late teen years the to early 20s. If your child or teen has lost a permanent tooth, other options will need to be used until the jaw stops growing.
Your Jawbone is in Good Condition
Implants rely on the fusion of your jawbone to the titanium for stability and success. However, bone mass naturally deteriorates when teeth are missing. If your jawbone lacks the necessary bone mass, implants will not fuse properly and will likely fail if placed. A weak bone does not necessarily mean you are ineligible for implants, however. There are options that you can explore. Bone grafts can restore missing bone mass, providing your jaw with the strength it needs to support your new teeth. If you are missing an entire arch of teeth, you may also consider the All-on-4 treatment concept, which strategically places four dental implants to take advantage of the bone mass you do have, while avoiding the need for a second surgery.
If you are interested in finding out more about dental implants, or if they are the best option for you, contact Posh Dental today to schedule your consultation.