The Three Things Every Dental Implant Candidate Needs
As we said above, almost everyone is a candidate for dental implants. You must be an ideal dental implant candidate if you meet these three simple criteria:
- Missing a tooth or having a failing tooth
- An adult whose jaw has finished growing
- Healthy enough for surgery
Dental implants are tooth replacements, so you must either have lost one or more teeth or have one or more teeth failing to get them. Sometimes, people ask if they should replace healthy teeth with dental implants. This is not recommended.
Dental implants are very similar to natural teeth but not identical. They don’t respond to bone growth the way natural teeth do. That’s why we recommend you wait until your jawbone has finished growing before you get dental implants. Similarly, if you want to get orthodontics like Invisalign and dental implants, completing your orthodontic work before you get implants is best.
Dental implant surgery is very minor surgery, but it’s still surgery. You need to be healthy enough to get dental implants. We might ask your doctor to clear you for surgery if we have concerns.
Other Factors to Consider in Getting Dental Implants
Now that you know you probably can get dental implants, let’s discuss other factors to consider in deciding whether you’re a suitable candidate for dental implants. We’ll phrase these as some of the common questions about these issues.
Will My Osteoporosis Affect My Dental Implants?
Dental implants depend on your bones for support, so osteoporosis might lead to implant problems. However, the research doesn’t show osteoporosis is a significant cause of dental implant failure. We’ll evaluate your jawbone density before surgery and let you know if we have concerns.
In addition, if you’ve lost bone because of gum disease or because you lost teeth a while ago, we can use a bone graft to ensure your dental implants have enough bone to support them.
Will Gum Disease Affect My Dental Implants?
Gum disease is the leading cause of dental implant failure. Before your implant surgery, your St. Louis implant dentist will evaluate your oral health. If you have significant gum disease, we will treat it before we schedule your surgery.
Sometimes, people wonder whether cavities affect dental implants. Dental implants can’t get cavities, and cavities on other teeth won’t impact them.
Will My Health Affect My Dental Implants?
Some health conditions will impact your dental implants. These include diabetes and anemia, which can lower your odds of successful dental implant treatment.
Often, it’s treatment that causes problems. Medications such as antidepressants, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and bisphosphonates (osteoporosis medications) are linked to increased dental implant failure rates. Recent radiation treatment for oral cancer can also increase the risk of implant complications.
Your St. Louis implant dentist will talk to you about your health and how it might impact your odds of implant success.
Am I Too Old for Dental Implants?
You’re never too old for dental implants. We’ll consider your health, but age is no barrier to getting dental implants.
Will My Lifestyle Affect My Dental Implants?
Some lifestyle factors can affect your dental implants. Smoking is the leading one. It can increase your risk of implant failure by three or more. If you want to get dental implants, you should quit smoking. Ideally, you should stop permanently, but at least for several weeks before surgery and throughout the recovery process.
Alcohol consumption can impact implants during the immediate postoperative period.
In addition, any drug that impacts your oral health, including marijuana, can affect your dental implants.
If you participate in contact sports, always wear a mouthguard. Consider the decision carefully if you compete in high-contact sports (hockey, MMA, boxing, etc.). Sometimes, we can remove restorations (crown, bridge, etc.) before competition to protect them. Other times, people elect to wait until after their competitive days before getting dental implants.
Do Dental Implants Require Excessive Oral Hygiene?
Dental implants require good oral hygiene, but it’s not excessive. Just brush, floss, and make regular dental checkups. Flossing might require a different technique or different tools, but it’s not that much different. Some people benefit from more regular dental checkups, but most people keep their twice-a-year visits.
With proper care, dental implants can last a lifetime. Taking the time and effort necessary to protect your investment is smart, not excessive.
Get Evaluated for Dental Implants in St. Louis
Are you considering dental implants in St. Louis? Talk to an implant dentist at Smile On Dental Studio to determine if you’re an ideal, good, or bad candidate for the treatment.
Please call (314) 678-7876 or use our online form today to request an appointment.