Dental implants are becoming more and more the treatment of choice for patients with missing teeth. Implants provide numerous advantages over dentures or bridges. They provide a full replacement tooth, including a replacement root, and look just like your natural teeth. They also help maintain the long-term health of your jawbone. If you are missing a tooth, you are a candidate for implants, but other factors must be considered before making the final decision.
Am I a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?
Before recommending implants, your implant dentist will evaluate your suitability for the procedure. This is based on the condition of your jawbone, the health of your gums, your overall health, how well you are expected to heal after the procedure, and your willingness to take proper care of yourself after your surgery.
Some factors that might make dental implants not as likely to work well for you include:
- Advanced gum disease – Any gum disease must be treated before implant surgery.
- Smoking – Smoking reduces the flow of oxygen in your bloodstream and thus severely impedes healing.
- Systemic problems such as diabetes that can make healing more difficult.
- Use of certain medications prescribed for osteoporosis.
- Insufficient bone mass in the jaw.
Your initial consultation with your implant dentist will help you decide if implants are the right choice for you.
What to Do if You Are Not a Good Candidate for Implants
If you prove not to be a good candidate for traditional implants, you might be able to work with your implant dentist, family dentist, or periodontist to correct any issues you might have. If you lack sufficient bone structure, for example, bone grafts might be the answer, or you might be able to undergo a different type of implant procedure that takes advantage of the bone structure you do have. If you are suffering from gum disease, antibiotic treatment, deep cleaning, or periodontal surgery can help get your gums back into good condition so you can have your implants placed.
If you have any questions about your candidacy for dental implants, please contact the office of Dr. Brad Crump for a consultation. Call 214-443-0876 to schedule an appointment today.