Who Are the Best Candidates for Dental Implants?
The overall success rate for dental implants is 98%. However, there are many factors that might influence your personal odds of success. During your consultation with St. Louis implant dentist Dr. Hill, you may discuss other factors, such as:
- Oral health
- Bone volume and density
- Commitment to hygiene
- Smoking and other lifestyle factors
At Smile On Dental Studio in St. Louis, we want all our patients to have the best odds of success. Depending on the answers to these questions, Dr. Hill might recommend changes to your dental implant procedure, or he might recommend against dental implants for you.
Healthy Gums for Healthy Implants
Like natural teeth, dental implants are vulnerable to gum disease. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss, and it’s the leading cause of dental implant failure.
If you have gum disease, especially if that’s what led to your tooth loss, St. Louis implant dentist Dr. Hill might recommend treating your gum disease before getting dental implants. This may delay your implant procedure for several months.
Dental Implants Need Bone for Support
Your dental implants depend on your bone for support. If you don’t have enough bone for implants, they might not be fully secure. If you lost your teeth a while ago, or if gum disease badly damaged your bone, we might have to supplement your bone with a bone graft.
Sometimes, St. Louis implant dentist Dr. Hill can do some bone grafts at the time of surgery. Other times, you might need a separate procedure, followed by months of healing, before you get your dental implants.
Take Care of Implants, and They’ll Take Care of You
Properly cared for, dental implants can last a lifetime (50+ years). However, you have to commit to caring for your implants. Fortunately, implants aren’t that hard to care for. Brush, floss, and make your regular dental appointments.
People lose teeth for many reasons, but if you lost teeth because of poor oral hygiene, we might ask you to commit to more aggressive hygiene for your implants. This might include more frequent brushing and/or flossing and a change of equipment (an electric toothbrush, a water flosser, etc.) In some cases, we might recommend seeing your dentist more than twice a year.
Dental implants are a big investment. You want to be committed to caring for them.
Smoking and Other Lifestyle Factors
Smoking can reduce your odds of having successful dental implants. That’s because smoking impedes bone healing and increases gum disease risk. This makes implant failure more likely. For best results, you need to quit smoking for at least one to two weeks before your procedure and at least two months after.
Other lifestyle choices that may affect dental implants include alcohol use, consumption of sugary foods, drug use, and more.
Medications Can Impact Implants
Before your procedure, make sure you tell St. Louis implant dentist Dr. Chris Hill about all the medications you’re taking. Some medications, like antidepressants and osteoporosis medications, might impact your odds of success and risk complications.
Don’t forget to include herbal supplements and over-the-counter medications–these can also cause problems in some cases!