If you’re missing a tooth or two, you have a few options. One of the most popular options is dental implants, and for good reason – dental implants look and feel like regular teeth, essentially giving you back what you’ve been missing. They’re convenient, attractive and durable.
However, dental implants aren’t for everyone. Speak with a qualified dentist to learn if you’re a good candidate for this type of restorative dentistry. Here are some of the criteria you and your dentist will use to help you make a decision.
You’re Okay With Undergoing Surgery
In order to receive a dental implant, you have to undergo a surgery where your dentist places a metal screw into your jawbone. Then, you’ll need to wait a few months for the implant to fuse with your jawbone and for your jaw to heal. Finally, the dentist will create a custom crown (the part of the implant that looks like a tooth) and place it on top of the metal implant, completing the process.
If you don’t want to undergo this months-long process and the surgery it requires, dental implants might not be right for you. However, if you aren’t daunted, you may be a good candidate for dental implants.
Your Jaw Can Support a Dental Implant
Not everyone has a strong enough or dense enough jawbone to support a dental implant. That’s why children usually can’t have dental implants – their bones haven’t developed enough. Your dentist will examine x-rays of your jaw to determine if the bone is sufficient.
If the bone can’t support an implant, you may be able to make it strong enough with bone grafts. Speak with your dentist to find out if this is an option for you.
Your Oral Health Is Good
Before you start the implant process, you’ll need to make sure that your oral health is in good shape. People with gum disease have a higher risk of their dental implant failing, so you’ll need to discuss this risk with your dentist.
You’ll also need to make sure that you don’t have any existing dental problems, like cavities or a teethclenching habit. Fix these problems and commit to taking good care of your teeth before getting an implant.
Your Overall Health Is Good
Since getting a dental implant requires that you undergo surgery, you need in be in good health before you start the process. Generally, these people have a poorer chance of success with dental implants:
- People who drink excessively
- Pregnant women
- People who take medications that suppress the immune system, including steroids and chemotherapy
- People with blood or bone disorders or cancers
- People with parathyroid disorders
If you’re not sure if your health is good enough to get a dental implant, consult with both your doctor and your dentist. While some conditions may always preclude you from getting an implant, you may be able to make changes in some areas to become healthy enough for a good chance of success with your implant.
While the information in this blog is enough to help you understand what may or may not make you a good candidate for dental implants, the only real way to know is to talk to a qualified dentist. Speak with someone with a lot of experience with implants about the risks involved, and you’ll be able to make an informed decision.
If you’re in the Cincinnati, OH, area, reach out to Beck Pearce Dental. Our team has years of experience with dental implants, and we can guide you through the process. Reach out to us today to set an appointment.