Dental implants benefit many people in the US and in other nations. In fact, it is estimated that nearly half a million Americans opt for dental implants per year, especially over false teeth options such as dentures. Dental implants are a more permanent solution to missing teeth. Whether a patient has suffered the loss of one or multiple teeth, implants are able to restore not just their appearance by replacing those teeth, but perhaps more importantly, their ability to eat and speak normally. But that’s not all dental implants can do for a patient who has lost teeth. They also enable patients to get back their self confidence because implants look, feel, and function more like natural teeth than dentures ever could. Of course, dental implants aren’t right for everyone. If you’re facing loss of one or more teeth and you’re searching for the best solution for your situation, following is more information that can help you decide if implants are right for you.
There are a number of factors a good dentist will consider before accepting anyone as a patient to receive dental implants. Because dental implants require one or more surgical procedures, not all patients are optimal candidates for implants. Below are helpful checklists of factors that your cosmetic dentist will take into consideration when determining if dental implants are right for you.
Good candidate for dental implants
- I have healthy gums.
- My jawbone is deep and wide enough to anchor implants in place. Some implants such as root form implants require that patients have enough bone to accept the implants as well as the metal cylinders, plates, or screws that are used to fasten them in place in order to hold them securely. There are dental implants that require less bone or narrower bone, such as plate form implants. However, patients still must possess enough bone even with these to enable the implants to be secured into place.
- I am willing and able to make a commitment to caring properly for my dental implants in order to maintain the health of my mouth and gums, as well as the implants themselves. I will commit to at least twice-daily brushing, once-daily flossing, and regular, twice-yearly visits to my family dentist to keep the performance and appearance of my implants in top form.
Not a good candidate for dental implants
- I am too young for such a dental procedure because my jawbone has not yet stopped growing.
- I am pregnant, meaning that this time in my life is not adequate to have dental surgery performed on me.
- I am not in optimal overall health, as I have a chronic illness such as poorly controlled diabetes, hemophilia or other bleeding disorder, cancer, immune deficiency, connective tissue disorder, or other affliction that restricts my ability to have surgery performed on me.
- I am a heavy smoker, drinker, or drug abuser.
- I have received a high dose of radiation treatment to my neck or head.
- I am on a medication that restricts my candidacy for implants, including but not limited to steroids or other immunosuppressants.
- I grind my teeth. This affliction places undue pressure on implants, raising my failure risk.
Dental implant procedures performed in the United States carry a success rate of more than 95 percent. However, just as with all surgical procedures, there are potential risks involved. All surgeries involve a potential risk of infection. In addition, because the material used in implants (such as titanium) is not a biological substance, there is a risk of rejection. Other potentials risks include possible nerve damage, numbness, tingling, or sinus problems.
Dental implants have helped millions of people throughout the U.S. regain normal tooth function and recapture a more beautiful smile. In fact, implants have become one of cosmetic dentistry’s most common and popular forms of restoring lost teeth. But dental implants aren’t right for every person who has experienced tooth loss. If you’ve lost one or multiple teeth due to accident, injury, or other circumstances, contact a cosmetic dentist to schedule a consultation and have all your questions answered concerning whether dental implants are right for your situation.