Dental implants can be a life-changing decision. They help people regain confidence in eating, speaking and smiling after missing teeth. In addition, dental implants can preserve bone density in the jaw, a valued benefit that no other tooth replacement option can offer. While there is no doubt that dental implants are the gold standard solution for replacing one or more missing teeth, not everyone qualifies for this procedure. Dental implants involve a sophisticated procedure that requires a specific set of requirements. Here are some questions to ask yourself if you are considering dental implants:
Do I have enough bone density?
You’ll obviously need to turn to your dentist to answer this one. Through dental x-rays, your dentist can determine the density and height of your jawbone and determine if it is sufficient enough to support a dental implant. Remember that the dental implant must fuse to the jawbone in order for the replacement teeth to remain secure and successful. Bone grafts can often be performed for patients with low bone density, but your specific situation should be carefully discussed.
Do I have gum disease?
The presence of advanced gum disease is a “no go” for dental implants. This is an indication that your gum health is compromised and the infection could cause serious problems if surgery is initiated. It is a first priority to get your gum disease under control before you proceed with dental implants and before the gum disease destroys your bone and disqualifies you from implants.
Am I a smoker?
If you smoke or use tobacco and want to get dental implants, you will need to kick that habit before undergoing dental implant surgery. Nicotine is a vasoconstrictor that can inhibit proper blood flow and healing within your oral tissues. Consequently, your recovery and success of the dental implant is greatly threatened if you smoke.
Am I in good overall health?
Your implant dentist will also evaluate your overall health to determine your candidacy. Your oral health and body health are closely linked. Conditions such as uncontrolled diabetes and other health issues may disrupt the success of your dental implants. Your body needs to have a strong immune system before getting dental implants.
The only way to accurately determine whether you qualify for dental implants is to visit your dentist for a professional evaluation. Dr. Wayne Suway is a leading implants dentist in Marietta who has helped countless patients take advantage of this life-changing procedure in restorative dentistry.