How do I know if I’m a suitable candidate for dental implants?

Who is and who isn’t a candidate for dental implants?

If you are missing even one tooth, you might be a good candidate for dental implants. Replacing your missing tooth will help you maintain proper alignment in the rest of your teeth and prevent long-term problems that could require invasive and complicated treatment.

Who is not an ideal candidate for implants?

Anyone with missing teeth should consider dental implants as a replacement solution. The first step is to consult with an implant dentist to see if you have any issues that could adversely affect your ability to heal after oral surgery. Some of these include:

  • A smoking habit

  • Diabetes

  • An autoimmune disorder

  • Gum disease

  • Osteoporosis

  • Insufficient mass in the jawbone

Even if you have some of these issues, you might still be a good candidate for implants. Talk to our oral surgeon about the possibility of treating gum disease or having a bone graft or a sinus lift. You might also consider a smaller number of implants to support a removable denture if you lack sufficient bone mass to support traditional implants. If you are a smoker, ask your dentist if smoking cessation will help make you a better candidate and improve your ability to heal after oral surgery.

Advantages of Dental Implants

Implants, like other forms of tooth replacement, help keep your other teeth in the proper position. Without a replacement tooth, your other teeth will move to fill the empty space. This can lead to misalignment, which could eventually push your jawbone out of proper position. Eventually, you could suffer from abnormal wear and tear, eventual loss of more teeth, and the symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ or TMD).

Implants also help keep your jawbone healthy by stimulating the bone to regenerate over time. Without a tooth root, the bone in the socket is resorbed, causing a breakdown of the bone’s integrity. Eventually, your upper and lower jaws will move closer together, creating a shrunken look. Dental implants help prevent this.