A missing tooth can cause issues with speech, gum health, chewing, jaw strength, and confidence. However, these issues can all be avoided with the help of a dental implant. Natural-looking and long-lasting, dental implants have a success rate of over 90%. However, not everyone is a candidate for dental implants depending on existing health conditions. So what makes someone fit for a dental implant?
Start with Healthy Oral Habits
First and foremost, a good candidate for dental implants is someone who practices healthy oral hygiene habits. Someone with gum disease does not have the proper gum tissue to support an implant. Ensure you are brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing. Gum augmentations are available to help improve the likelihood of the procedure’s success. However, daily care must continue even after the implant is placed. Bacteria or infection after your implant treatment can cause gum disease, prevent healing, and cause peri-implantitis (when the implant loosens and falls out of a patient’s mouth).
If you drink heavily, grind your teeth, or use your teeth as a “tool” to pry open packaging, we highly recommend you stop. These habits can cause damage to your enamel. Weak enamel causes cavities, leading to infection and the possibility of peri-implantitis.
Not only does our team look at a patient’s oral health, but we also analyze jawbone health to determine whether someone is a candidate for dental implants.
An implant is a titanium screw that is embedded directly into the jawbone. Then, a ceramic crown is placed over the top of the screw to give the implant its finished look. During the healing process, the jawbone must fuse to the screw. This process is called osseointegration. However, without adequate jawbone support the implant could grow loose and fall out. Known as failed osseointegration, this typically happens a few weeks after surgery.
Diabetes or autoimmune diseases are most often the cause of failed osseointegration. However, some patients are simply born with low jawbone density. When this is the case, bone graft procedures are available.
Signs of failed osseointegration include:
- Severe mouth pain
- Swollen gums
- Implants that move when speaking or eating
Understanding the Process
Understanding the dental implant process also makes for a great candidate. A missing tooth isn’t replaced overnight. The healing process can take months. Remember: dental implants are an invasive surgical procedure. Don’t try to rush the healing process or go against the advice of your dentist. Allowing the implant to heal correctly means a higher chance of success and a healthier, fuller smile.
If you want to learn more about dental implants, the Mayo Clinic offers insight into the procedure.
Discover Whether You’re a Candidate for Dental Implants
Do you think you’re a candidate for dental implants? Or do you have more questions about the procedure? During a consultation with our team here at Center Valley Dental, we can help you determine whether a dental implant treatment is best for you. With supplemental procedures, advanced technology, and a caring team of experts, we have the tools to turn the smile of your dreams into a reality.
To learn more about dental implants from Center Valley Dental and our qualifications for candidacy, visit our “Are You a Candidate?” page. Then, contact our team to request an appointment.