WHO IS A CANDIDATE FOR DENTAL IMPLANTS?
Today, you have options when it comes to replacing missing teeth. Dental implants have quickly become one of the most popular options, providing you with a multitude of benefits over older replacement options like fixed bridges and dentures. Along with restoring the essential functions of your teeth (biting, chewing, speaking), they also help to preserve the strength of your jawbone, something other options cannot do. At National Dental East Meadow, our initial consultation will help to determine if you are a candidate.
ARE YOU MISSING TEETH?
Tooth loss occurs for a variety of reasons – gum disease, oral trauma, smoking, bruxism. Whatever the cause, and no matter how many teeth you lose, they need to be replaced. The most obvious signal that you might be a candidate for dental implants is that you are missing teeth. Implants may be an option, no matter how many teeth you are missing. They may also be an option if you haven’t yet lost any teeth, but you are about to undergo an extraction.
ARE YOU IN GOOD HEALTH?
Dental implants require a surgical procedure. Slow healing, or an infection, can quickly lead to implant failure. If you have gum disease, you must first have the condition treated. If you have certain health conditions, such as diabetes, it can impact your ability to heal. Your conditions must first be well managed to be considered.
DO YOU SMOKE?
Smoking, or the use of any tobacco product, is another factor that can impact your ability to heal. The habit reduces the amount of oxygen in your blood and restricts your blood flow. When you are healing, this can greatly slow the healing process. Smoking can also lead to dry socket, a condition in which the blood clot becomes dislodged, leaving your tissues and bone open to bacterial attack.
HAVE YOU LOST BONE MASS?
For your jawbone to fully fuse with the implant, you must first have sufficient bone mass. Poor bone density increases your chances for implant failure. However, even if you have lost bone mass (which naturally occurs following tooth loss, but can occur for other reasons as well), that does not necessarily mean that you cannot have dental implants. You may be a candidate for the All-on-4® treatment concept, which is designed for those with less bone density. Alternatively, you may need to consider a bone graft, a surgical procedure that restores bone mass to your jaw.
HOW OLD ARE YOU?
Too many times, older adults think that they are too old for dental implants. This is just not the case. You are never too old to enjoy the benefits of dental implants. You can, however, be too young. Children and teens have jawbones that are still developing (and are continuing to develop into their late teen years). Implants placed in a still changing jaw can have serious consequences on the patient’s oral health and development. If your child has lost a permanent tooth, another restorative option will need to be considered until your child is old enough for an implant.
Learn more about dental implants:
If you have been determined to be a candidate for dental implants, we will then move on to schedule you for implant surgery. With dental implants, your quality of life will greatly improve. To schedule your consultation, contact National Dental East Meadow today at (516) 962-2292!