Who Is a Candidate for Dental Implants?

If you’re looking to replace loose dentures or missing teeth, you could consider getting dental implants to help restore your smile.

However, you might wonder if you are a good candidate for this procedure. To find out, you will need to know all about dental implants first.

What are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are tooth roots that are inserted surgically into the gum to support artificial teeth. They also provide a strong foundation for removable teeth, like dentures, and fixed permanent teeth. Pioneered around 50 years ago, dental implants have, since the 1970s, become popular as an alternative to bridges and dentures to replace unhealthy or missing teeth.

Dental implants not only replace missing teeth, but also help in gum, teeth, and jawbone health. The teeth that surround the missing tooth tend to shift out of place, causing the jaw bone to deteriorate. Dental implants are the only way to fix a tooth that helps the jawbone grow and stays healthy.

If you’re already noticing some signs of bone deterioration or shifting teeth due to a missing tooth; there is no need to worry. There are various types of dental implants that you can discuss with your dental provider.

Advantages of Dental Implants

  • Give you a natural smile: Dental implants feel, look, and are cared for in much the same way as your natural teeth.
  • You can eat whatever: Dental implants function just like your natural teeth, and there is no clicking or sliding when eating.
  • Save you money: This is because they can last a lifetime as compared to other dental reconstructive options that require regular replacements.
  • Make you look younger: Dental implants stimulate bone growth, preserve your natural bone, and prevent bone loss—to maintain your natural face shape.
  • Build your confidence again: Talking, eating, kissing, or laughing is like with your natural teeth; unlike with dentures.
  • Proven success: Dental implants have been successful for over 30 years, with an average success rate of 98 percent.

Factors that Affect the Eligibility for Dental Implant Surgery

Though dental implant surgery is a great reconstructive dental procedure, not everyone is a good candidate for surgery. Here are the factors that determine whether one is a good candidate for dental implant surgery:

Age and Facial Development

Since dental implants require a firm foundation, any changes in the size and shape of the jaw in the future due to growth spurts would prove disastrous for the success of the surgery. For this reason, patients under the age of 18 are not eligible for dental implants.

However, dentists can make exceptions after analyzing the jaw development level, case by case. Adults will be happy to know that there is no upper age limit for eligibility for dental implants.

Jawbone and Gum Health

Good jawbone and gum health are crucial before the placement of dental implants and during their long-term use. This is because the implant’s titanium root only stays in place by fusing with the jawbone.

Sometimes, the jawbone may not be dense enough for the implant to secure itself. But in other cases, dental surgeons may overcome this limitation with bone grafts from other body parts. Gum tissue also provides further protection and support for implant roots and the crown. So, gum degradation in periodontal disease is a bona fide obstacle to successful implant installation.

Medical Health Conditions

Your overall health plays a major role in determining whether you are eligible for dental implant surgery and how long it will heal and stay in place. Patients suffering from diseases like Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, or certain auto-immune diseases are at a greater risk of getting complications or infections.

Psychological problems also make it impossible or difficult for one to take care of the implant after surgery.

Your Current Medication

When considering having dental implant surgery, it is best to understand any potential side effects and risks of any medication you are on. In particular, you need to be aware of any medication that might interfere with the anesthesia used in the dental implant procedure.

Avoid NSAID painkillers, like Advil and aspirin, at least a week before the dental implant surgical procedure to avert extreme bleeding. It is highly recommendable to instead opt for acetaminophen, like Tylenol.

Medication for osteoporosis or other bone degenerative conditions, immunosuppressive drugs, and steroids contribute to implant complications. It is vital that you let your dentist know about any medications you are taking.

Other Risk Factors

  • Bone and gum tissue can’t heal as well if you drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes. Tobacco smoke especially increases infections because it promotes a dry mouth. If considering a dental implant placement, abstaining from these as well as any other recreational drugs reduces the chance of implant rejection.
  • Bruxism. If you struggle with teeth clenching and grinding, this may put too much pressure on the implant, and you risk a failed result. If the bruxism is mild, custom-filled night guards can help protect your smile.

An Understanding Mindset

According to the American Academy of Implant Dentists, in addition to good medical and oral health, a good candidate for dental implants should understand the complications, risks, the dental implant process, and its duration. The procedure takes between 4 and 12 months, from the first installment to being completely healed. The tooth-crafting process may take several weeks, and it may take a few months for one to completely heal from surgery.

After implant installation, you should maintain a strict oral health routine before and after surgery to prevent infections. One also needs to go for regular, scheduled checkups, cleanings, and X-rays at least once every six months for a successful dental implant placement.

In Conclusion

Dental implant placements are very safe surgical procedures, and most people are eligible for the surgery.  Dental implants have great reviews from patients because they have an extremely high success rate.

If your oral health is not in the best of shape, it is still possible to be a dental implant candidate, depending on the severity of the condition. It is, therefore, highly recommended that you consult with your dentist to get an expert opinion.

Trust Us to Give You Personalized and Efficient Dental Care in Tarpon Springs, Florida, Today!

Tarpon Dental is a top Tarpon Springs, FL, dental care facility providing implant, cosmetic, and general dentistry to the residents of Tarpon Springs, Palm Harbor, Trinity, Odessa, and the surrounding areas.  We have the most current dental technology to ensure fast, comfortable, and efficient treatment.

Our caring and friendly team is dedicated to giving you information on your treatment choices and any other dental concerns you may have while providing you with an overall favorable and personalized dental experience.

For more information on whether you are a good candidate for dental implant surgery, and to schedule an appointment, feel free to visit our dental office at 2611 Keystone Rd., Suite B-7, Tarpon Springs, FL 34688. You can also reach us by emailing FrontOffice@TarponDental.com or calling (727) 477-3358.