Am I a Candidate for Dental Implants?
Dental implants are one of the most popular options available today for replacing missing teeth. They consist of three major parts: the implant, the abutment, and the crown. The implant is a titanium rod, which is surgically inserted into the jaw, and the abutment is the connector that holds the crown to the implant. When your jaw fuses successfully with implants, you are provided with many benefits. One of the biggest benefits of dental implants is that they help to preserve the integrity of your jawbone. Additionally, the crowns can be cared for just like natural teeth. Moreover, they are exceptionally comfortable. Kooning Family Dentistry offers this revolutionary tooth replacement option. However, how do you know if you are a candidate?
Implant Candidate Requirement #1: You are Missing Teeth
Dental implants are designed to replace missing teeth. So, the most obvious quality that makes you a potential candidate for implants is tooth loss. Implants can be designed to suit just about any need. They can replace a single missing tooth or several implants can be used to support an implant supported a denture. You don’t have to be missing a tooth right now to consider dental implants. If you have a compromised tooth that needs to be extracted, an implant can be discussed as an option for replacement once the tooth is out.
Implant Candidate Requirement #2: Your Health is Good
Implants require surgery, and to be considered for implant surgery, you must first be in overall good health. If you are sick or have gum disease, the procedure will need to be put off until your health improves. Conditions like diabetes can also impede your ability to heal properly. Before you can be considered for dental implants, it is essential that your blood sugar is kept under control. Any condition that can slow down the healing process puts you at greater risk for developing an infection or having the implant be rejected altogether.
Implant Candidate Requirement #3: You are a Non-Smoker (or Willing to Quit)
Smoking, and other tobacco products are bad for the health of your body, including your oral health. It can lead to dry rot, a condition in which the clots become dislodged, leaving an open space in your mouth for bacteria and other contaminants to enter your gums. The habit can also seriously slow down your healing, increasing your risk of developing an infection. To be considered for implants, you must be willing to commit to quitting smoking. If you cannot quit for good, you need to be at least able to quit for a period before your procedure, as well as during your recovery period.
Implant Candidate Requirement #4: Your Jaw is in Good Shape
Implants rely on osseointegration. This is the process in which your jawbone fuses to the implants. For osseointegration to be successful, you must first have enough bone mass in your jaw to begin with. Tooth loss leads to bone loss, so the longer you wait to get implants, the more bone mass you might lose. However, bone loss does not automatically disqualify you from dental implants. In some instances, you may require a bone graft, which restores bone mass to your weakened jaw. We will work with you to determine the best course of action during your implant consultation.
You’re Never Too Old for Dental Implants
Many people think that they are too old for dental implants. The truth is, you are never too old. However, you can be too young. The jaw does not stop growing until your late teens or even early 20’s. Placing an implant in an underdeveloped jaw puts your jaw at risk for serious complications. If your child or teen has lost a permanent tooth, another replacement option will need to be considered until they are old enough for dental implants. Once your child’s jaw has stopped developing, implants can then be discussed.
If you are interested in finding out if you are a candidate for dental implants, contact Kooning Family Dentistry at (503) 673-9097 to schedule your consultation today!