While dental implants are an excellent option for many patients, there are some who are not candidates for this procedure. Your dentist and physician will work together to determine if implants are a safe choice for you. Here are a few things they will take into account when deciphering if you are a good candidate for dental implants.
Since implants are inserted through a surgical procedure, you must be in good general health to be a candidate. Patients with uncontrolled diabetes, hemophilia or significant immune deficiencies are often not eligible. Following implant surgery, a process known as Osseointegration occurs in which the jaw bone fuses to the implant. Your gums must also heal from the incisions. If your dentist or physician feels that you have a health condition that will prevent Osseointegration and healing, you will likely be told you’re not a candidate. People who take certain steroid drugs or immune suppressant agents are often not candidates, and those with connective tissue disorders and hemophilia are often determined not to be candidates as well.
Dental Function Considerations
According to the Colgate and the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine, patients must have enough bone to anchor the implants. However, some patients’ bone structure can be built up with other procedures, such as grafting, allowing them to undergo implant surgery later on.
Patients must also have healthy gums and be willing to take very good care of the implanted teeth with regular brushing, flossing and dental visits. If your tooth has been missing for a long time, the roots of other nearby teeth may have begun shifting, making it difficult or impossible for a dentist to insert an implant.
If you are having difficulties chewing or speaking because you are missing one or more teeth, or because your bridge or denture is causing you trouble, it is worth your time to ask your dentist whether you’re a good candidate for implants
Smile Aesthetics Considerations
You may also be a great candidate for implants if your dentures or missing teeth are making it hard for you to smile with confidence. Self-consciousness about your smile can have a negative impact on your self-esteem, making it hard for you to partake in activities you used to enjoy. Dental implants allow you to be your happy, smiling self again, so you can live a life that is fulfilling and enjoyable.