Am I a Candidate for Dental Implants?
The only way to get a definite answer to whether you are a good candidate for dental implants is to visit your dentist and discuss options. With that in mind, here are a few good guidelines to help you decide if you want to move forward.
Get a Full Evaluation
The first step is to thoroughly evaluate your jaw, mouth, teeth, and underlying health conditions. The best candidates have overall good oral health. Your gums and jawbones need to be in good health to have a good recovery outcome. When implants go in, they anchor into your jawbone, so it needs to be strong enough to hold on to the implants.
Losing some of your jawbones does not automatically rule you out from being a candidate, but it depends on your situation. Implants may help you prevent further bone loss. In an evaluation, your dentist can tell you one way or another.
You Might Need Surgery First
There is the possibility of surgery that may be needed before dental implants can be considered. Gum disease results in receding gums, and if your gums are not healthy enough to get implants, you might need a gum graft. Once you are fully healed, you may be ready for dental implants.
The bone loss may also require a graft to replace bone tissues. As you lose teeth, the jawbone loses stimulation and gradually deteriorates. Your dentist will tell you if you need a bone graft, and if you do, you will need to heal entirely before implants.
If it is determined that implants would invade sinus cavities, you may need a sinus lift. This procedure will raise your sinuses to protect them before placing the implants. Complete healing will be necessary to ensure that your implants have a firm hold once after installation.
At-Risk for Negative Outcomes
Several health issues can cause a candidate to be at-risk for poor outcomes. Illnesses like cancer and diabetes can be cause for concern even if they are under control. Your habits can also cause issues. Smoking or drinking alcohol can also cause adverse effects to the outcome of dental implants.
Other habits that are cause for concern with dental implants include grinding or clenching teeth in your sleep. Excessive pressure can cause damage to the implants, so this behavior would need to be addressed in the evaluation. Your dentist may be willing to work with your condition depending on your circumstances and give you a better answer after a complete review.
Patients who have good oral health and hygiene are likely to be the best candidates for implants. Continuing to use a quality mouthwash and adopting a regular flossing and brushing routine is critical for protection against infection following implants.
Dental implants have a high success rate, and most are happy with the results. If you have any questions or want to get evaluated for dental implants, give Donald I. Cadle, Jr., DMD, PA, a call at 727-312-1300 to make an appointment at our office in New Port Richey, Florida.