Who is a Candidate for Dental Implants?

Are You Missing a Tooth?

Even if you are not yet missing a tooth, but are scheduled for a tooth extraction, dental implants may be discussed as an option to replace the tooth after your extraction has been performed.

Are You Healthy?

To place dental implants, a surgical procedure is necessary. To undergo surgery, you need to be in good overall health. Oral health issues like gum disease and cavities can cause complications during surgery, increasing your risk for developing an infection. Chronic health issues such as heart disease and diabetes can also cause complications, both during surgery as well as during recovery. Oral health issues need to be treated before undergoing implant placement surgery while chronic conditions need to be well-managed before you can be considered a candidate.

Do You Smoke or Drink?

Smoking and drinking can significantly impact your ability to heal following surgery. Smoking slows blood flow and reduces oxygen levels in your blood. This slows the delivery of essential nutrients to your gums and bone, which in turn, inhibits your ability to heal properly. The slower you heal, the greater your risk for developing an infection. Smoking cigarettes can also lead to a condition called dry socket. This is a condition in which a blood clot becomes dislodged, leaving an open wound that can increase your risk for infection. Excessive alcohol consumption can also affect clotting, which can cause serious issues during and after surgery. While these habits do not bar you from undergoing implant surgery, it is highly recommended that you quit to improve your chances of a healthy healing following implant placement.

What is the Condition of Your Jawbone?

Dental implants require adequate bone for success. As you heal from surgery, your bone gradually fuses to the implant in a process called osseointegration. This process stabilizes the implant so it can be “loaded” with a crown, bridge or denture in a few weeks. If you do not have enough bone mass in your jawbone,  it can prevent the successful placement of an implant.  In some cases, a bone graft may be required to develop bone in the area where the implant is to be placed. 

Does Age Matter?

You can be too young for dental implants but you are never too old for dental implants. Even senior patients can enjoy the benefits, so long as they meet other requirements. If you are interested in finding out if dental implants are right for you, all you need to do is schedule a consultation.

With dental implants, we do more than simply replace missing teeth. Implants restore the functions of missing teeth, the appearance of your smile, and help to protect the health of your jawbone. For more information, and to schedule your consultation, call Mettler & Griego Family Dentistry at (623) 562-5230 today.