Am I a Candidate for Dental Implants?

Dental implants are a viable option for replacing a missing tooth or teeth. They are among the best tooth replacement options as they are natural-looking and effective. Once you get a dental implant, you will not have to worry about maintenance costs as they need the same dental care you give your natural teeth. However, one question remains: Are you a dental implant candidate?

Dental implants require oral surgery. Hence, your dentist at Above & Beyond Dental will need to verify some things before considering your eligibility for the procedure. Below are some factors that determine if you are a candidate for dental implants.


Bone Density or Mass

Your bone tissue needs to be strong enough to hold an implant post. Hence, bone density is imperative when determining your eligibility for dental implants. Studies show that individuals experience a 25 percent loss of bone density within the first year of losing their tooth. They later lose 40 to 60 percent of bone width within the three years of losing their tooth. Your dentist may recommend bone grafting to fix the bone loss problem.


Gum Health

An ideal dental implant candidate should have optimal gum health. They should not have ongoing periodontal disease. Your dentist will check for this because gum disease can affect the dental implants and the entire process by causing infections.

If you have periodontal disease, you need to begin by getting a deep cleaning. Once you do that as often as your dentist requires and maintain good hygiene practices, you may qualify for dental implants.


Health Conditions

Dental implant surgery is an involved and invasive procedure that requires your body to be generally healthy for its success. Eligible candidates should be free of disease and healthy so that nothing can interfere with the healing process.

Diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and autoimmune disorders can affect your healing ability. They can disrupt your eligibility for dental implants. Some of these medical conditions also contribute to infections after surgical procedures.

A disease like osteonecrosis which affects bones can affect jawbone tissue response to the procedure. In such cases, most dentists do not recommend using dental implants as a treatment option.

Ideally, talk to your doctor about your medical history and any ongoing medical condition you have. Doing so is ideal so they can carefully evaluate whether you are a viable implant surgery candidate.


Current Medication

Some medications may not be ideal for the dental implant process. Patients who take corticosteroids, bisphosphonates, or chemotherapy drugs may not be eligible. 

Studies show that individuals with blood pressure or heart conditions may not be ideal candidates. Most of them take beta blocks to treat their issues and thus experience a high failure rate when getting dental implants.


Lifestyle Habits 

Some lifestyle habits such as smoking or poor oral hygiene affect dental implant healing. Candidates for dental implants ought to commit to maintaining good oral hygiene. They should stop smoking throughout the process of getting their dental implants.

Dental implant surgery entails multiple steps and sessions that can take four to 12 months. Thus, you need to commit to not smoking all this time or the treatment will fail. Ideally, avoid drinking alcohol during the dental implant healing time as the alcohol can impede the healing by drying out the mouth.

For more about dental implants, visit Above & Beyond Dental at our office in Bedford, Texas. You can also call (817) 571-1667 to book an appointment today.