An increasing number of people are getting dental implants to improve their smile and feel more confident with their appearance. The artificial teeth are a long-term solution to tooth loss and look natural with their design. Here are a few ways to know if you’re a candidate for dental implants, whether you need one tooth installed or a full set in your mouth.
Candidates will need to have missing teeth to ensure that there’s a place where the dental implants to be placed. Unlike bridges, patients do not need to have any teeth in the mouth because the implants do not connect or are anchored onto other teeth to have proper support. The implants do not put excess pressure on the surrounding teeth.
You Have Good Gums
It’s important to have good gums because the dental implants are intimately connected with the gums. Candidates must not have periodontal disease or gum disease to ensure that the dental implants do not cause complications. Gum disease is the primary cause of tooth loss and will need to be treated before you get dental implants. You’ll also need to have sufficient bone density to support the implant in the mouth.
A Commitment to Oral Hygiene
Candidates who have a commitment to oral hygiene are ideal candidates to ensure that the dental implants are maintained well. You’ll need to floss and brush your teeth several times each day to remove plaque that forms. It’s also necessary to visit a dentist every six months for a routine checkup and teeth cleaning.
The surrounding teeth in the mouth should also be free of decay or infection before a patient can undergo the procedure to avoid complications.
Sufficient Bone Density
Sufficient bone structure in the jaw is necessary to support the implants after they’re installed. Dental implants that are not adequately supported can cause them to become loose due to the pressure that comes from chewing. Some patients will need to undergo a bone graft to improve the density of the jaw bone. You’ll have bone removed from another area of the body and can have it placed in the jaw. A dentist will tell you if a bone graft is an option.
Patients can also replace their dentures with dental implants for added convenience but must have enough bone density to anchor the implants.
You’re an Older Teenager or Adult
Older teenagers and adults are ideal candidates because their jaw bones are no longer growing. Children are not recommended for dental implants because their jawbone is still developing and can cause the implants to fall out. Girls should be at least 14 to 15 years old, and boys should be at least 17 years old.
Younger adults often have more bone density that has not been lost, compared to older adults who may have suffered from missing teeth for several years.
You’ll need good health to ensure that the implants heal properly once they’re installed. Patients with autoimmune diseases and chronic diseases like uncontrolled diabetes or immune deficiencies are not suited to get implants.
Patients should also not be heavy smokers, which can hinder the healing process and lead to infections. The dentist will also want to know if you clench or grind your teeth during the day or at night when you sleep, which can put excess pressure on the implants and can cause them to fall out.
When you want to improve your oral health and the functionality of your teeth, it’s important to consider dental implants. By speaking to a dental professional, you can determine if you’re a viable candidate for the procedure.
See author’s Google+ Profile: Maria Marzo DDS
Dental Implants: Am I a Candidate?, clevelandclinic.org
What Are Dental Implants?, colgate.com