Dental implants are the best tooth alternative available today. They look natural and function much like a real tooth. Those who have been missing one or more teeth and invested in dental implants have found the results life-changing.
Although many people succeed with dental implants, not everyone is a good candidate. Sometimes patients have to seek other options.
What does an ideal candidate for dental implants look like?
One or More Missing Teeth
It may sound silly, but a candidate for dental implants is going to need to be missing at least one tooth. Or, have a planned extraction scheduled. After all, dental implants are designed to replace missing teeth.
Why not just leave the empty space?
Unfortunately, leaving a space where a tooth once was can have devastating consequences. Teeth rely on those around them for support. Once they go missing, so does the support. This can give teeth the freedom to move around and shift from their designated location, falling out of alignment with the others and potentially leading to oral health issues.
If you have a missing tooth, you may be a candidate for dental implants.
The Right Age
There is no set age that you have to be in order to obtain a dental implant, but it will be up to your dentist to determine if you are ready. Most will wait until the patient is over the age of 18. Why? Because the jaw bone is still growing and developing.
Since the dental implant has to go into the jaw bone, you don’t want the jaw to move as it could disrupt the implant itself as well as how it is implanted
Maintain Good Oral Health - and Oral Hygiene
Once a dental implant is inserted and healed, your dentist wants to give it the best opportunity for success – both now and in the future. To do that, you have to maintain good oral health. That means no tooth decay or gum disease.
If either of these things is present, it will have to be addressed before the implant procedure will take place.
Maintaining good oral hygiene with brushing, flossing, and professional dental cleanings will boost oral health and create an ideal environment for a dental implant.
The Proper Bone Density
Having good bone density is something that is not negotiable when it comes to getting dental implants as it is essential to be able to fuse and anchor the implant itself. A good candidate will have enough bone density to do this.
While some people have great bone density, others do not – especially if teeth have been missing for an extended period of time. The good news is that poor bone density does not automatically disqualify you from getting dental implants.
Thanks to a procedure known as bone grafting, the jaw bone can be built up so that it is capable of serving the implant.
It should be noted that, if you require bone grafting, this will add several weeks to your dental implant timeline.
Learn More About Dental Implants
Dental implants can be life-changing for those who are great candidates. Christopher J. Couri, DDS, MS will determine whether or not they will be your best option for oral health – or if one of our other alternatives would be the ideal solution.