Dental implants offer benefits that can last a lifetime. This life-altering procedure helps many patients reclaim their quality of life. Do you have missing or severely damaged teeth and wonder if dental implants are right for you? Here's what makes an ideal candidate for the procedure:
You Have Good Oral Health. There are specific dental health standards to meet before you can move forward with a dental implant procedure. Your oral structures must be healthy enough for the osseointegration process to succeed. You cannot have gum disease, tooth decay, and other dental conditions that could interfere with the bonding process.
You Have Sufficient Jawbone Mass and Gum Density. The dental implant will serve as the anchor for your replacement crown. So, your jaw structure should allow it to attach securely in place. That is only possible if you have the right amount of strong, healthy jawbone mass. You also need healthy gums for a successful implant procedure. If your gums are receding, the roots of your teeth will likely be exposed. This can leave your teeth susceptible to decay, damage, and loss. If you're suffering from gum recession, you must correct it before undergoing the dental implant process.
You Understand the Dental Implant Process. Dental implants are known as the gold standard for replacing missing teeth. The implants themselves are stable and natural-looking, and they function just like your original teeth. But implants are not an instant replacement for your missing teeth. The process generally takes months to complete.
Like most procedures, you must be in good health to undergo dental implant surgery. Underlying health problems like diabetes and heart disease will not automatically rule you out for dental implant placement. But it is essential to monitor and control these types of conditions to be eligible for the procedure. Certain lifestyle choices and conditions may also keep you from getting the treatment. These include:
Habits. Smoking can have adverse effects on your dental health. Not only will it affect the appearance of your teeth, but it can also lead to dangerous oral problems that can cause your implants to fail. Patients who regularly consume large amounts of alcohol may not qualify for the dental implant process, either. This is because alcohol can negatively impact your body's ability to heal, putting your dental implant at risk of failure.
Age. Dental implants are not typically recommended for younger patients unless their jaws have fully matured. This usually occurs between 16 and 18 years of age. If your jawbone is still growing, it will be in a state of change that will make it extremely difficult for your dentist to plan out your treatment correctly.
Pregnancy. As a rule of thumb, pregnant women are advised against pursuing any treatment that requires surgery. Implant placement requires strong anesthesia, which can pose a significant risk to both the expecting mother and baby. Another threat includes radiation exposure from procedures like X-rays. Besides, women undergo dramatic hormonal changes during pregnancy. A spike in estrogen levels in their body, for example, makes them more prone to infection.
The surefire way to determine if you are a good candidate for dental implants is to consult with your dentist. Schedule your appointment today with MAC Family Dentistry’s Martha Anne Carr, DDS in Mandeville, Louisiana.