Who Is A Candidate For Dental Implants
Dental implants are surgically drilled into the jawbone beneath the gum line to support a dental device such as a crown or bridge. The procedure has become increasingly popular over the years because it closely mimics natural teeth and restores a healthy smile. If you have missing teeth that you would like to replace, then dental implants can provide a good solution.
However, not everyone may be a candidate for dental implants. Let’s take a look at a few factors that our dentists Dr. Brian Alder and Dr. Alder evaluate to decide if their patients are candidates for a dental implant procedure.
Gum health is extremely important because they ensure a snug fit of the dental implant. Healthy tissue also protects the dental implant and helps it anchor in place. A dental implant will simply not heal properly if the gums are in poor health, leading to dental implant failure. For this reason, candidates who have poor gum health or gum disease may not be ready for dental implant surgery until the issue is rectified.
Gum disease, in particular, can devastate gum tissue and dissolve the jawbone. This is why our dentist will prescribe treatments to restore gum health before the actual surgery.
Oral hygiene goes a long way in taking care of your overall health. Even though dental implants are extremely durable, they need the surrounding gum tissue to be in good health to stay put. Bad oral hygiene can lead to gum infections that can quickly evolve into different conditions leading to loss of bone and dental implant failure.
All post-op instructions require patients to stay on top of oral hygiene, including brushing and flossing the teeth everyday. It is just as important to visit the dentist for scheduled checkups and cleaning. Patients with healthy implants are required to visit their dentist once every six months (or more if they have complications).
Jaw Bone Health
Dental implants are surgically drilled into the jawbone, where they will serve as the roots for orthodontic appliances (such as a crown). All patients require a sufficient amount of bone mass in their jaw to secure the dental implants. As a general rule, patients need a minimum of 1 mm of bone to provide support to the dental implant. More bone may be required if the implant is next to another implant.
Some of the most common causes of jawbone deterioration are damaged teeth, tooth extractions, and missing teeth, among others. Our dentist may prescribe a bone graft if there is not sufficient bone to cover the implant. A bone graft is a complex surgical procedure that can take a few months to recover from.
Certain Lifestyle Factors
Certain lifestyle decisions, such as the tendency to smoke and drink alcohol, can wreak havoc on the dental implant and devastate oral health. Patients who consume tobacco products may not qualify for dental implants. This is because tobacco disrupts the healing process and increases the chances of dental implant failure.
Wondering if you are a candidate for dental implants and want your dental implant FAQ answered? At Alder Dental, our dentists know the ins and outs of dental implants and osseointegration. Call us (360) 831-0831 to schedule an appointment today.