Dental implants are an excellent way to replace missing teeth. Almost anyone who has lost a tooth, or multiple teeth, can benefit from them. However, some factors can adversely affect the likelihood of a successful implant procedure.
What Makes a Good Candidate for Implants?
If you have a missing tooth or teeth, you should discuss the suitability of implants with your dentist. Before recommending implants, your dentist will want to assess any factors that could cause the implants to fail. Some common risk factors include:
Existing gum disease
Diabetes or other systemic problems
Insufficient bone mass in the jaw
Some medications used to treat osteoporosis
The healing process, during which the jawbone bonds to the artificial roots of the implants, is vital to the implants’ success. These factors make it more likely that your implants will not heal properly. Some, such as gum disease and insufficient bone mass, can be dealt with before the implant procedure. In the case of insufficient bone mass, a grafting procedure might be necessary. In this case, the graft will have to heal completely before the implants can be placed.
If your dentist feels you are a good candidate for implant surgery, you can make the decision together as to whether implants are right for you. In general, implants are the best form of tooth replacement. They look and function just like natural teeth and help stimulate jawbone growth. Without tooth roots, the jawbone atrophies over time, which is why denture wearers gradually develop a more shrunken look to the face.
Implants are permanent and stationary, so you never have to worry about them shifting in your mouth. If the visible portion of a tooth is damaged, it can be easily replaced. In some cases, implants are used to anchor a removable denture. The implants ensure that it will not move, and the denture will never have to be relined or retooled for comfort. If you are interested in dental implants, schedule a consultation with our implant dentists to determine if they’re a good choice for you.