You’ve finally reached the decision that you are ready to replace your missing tooth. You’ve heard great things about the longevity and success of dental implants, and you’re prepared to invest. While many people are candidates for this surgery, not everyone is. The best place to start is by seeing your dentist or dental specialist. They can evaluate your situation and let you know if implants are the right treatment option for you.
Several factors determine if you are a good candidate for dental implants:
- Good bone density
- Good overall health
- Not a tooth clincher or grinder
- Healthy gums that are free from gum disease
Good Bone Density
When talking about implants, bone density is of utmost importance. The density and quality of bone are so important because the implant is surgically put into the bone. The bone is the foundation and supporting structure for the implant and crown that it will later support.
An implant placed in an area of insufficient bone will not have a good prognosis.
To qualify for dental implants, you must have healthy bones!
Good Overall Health
Your dentist will likely consider your overall health in evaluating you for implants.
Implants are a surgical procedure. It is essential that you are healthy enough to have the procedure done and that your body will heal well at the surgery site. Questions that your dentist asks you may include:
- Do you smoke?
- Do you drink alcohol?
- Do you have diabetes?
- Are you taking any medications?
These questions are important to your dentist because smoking, excessive drinking, having diabetes, and taking medications can all affect your bone density.
Don’t Clench Or Grind Your Teeth
Clenching puts excessive pressure on your teeth and can even put them at risk for fracturing.
Clenching and grinding is a concern for implants because it can poorly affect the success of them.
If you are aware that you clench or grind or teeth, you can try these tricks to help minimize the effects on your teeth:
- Wear a bite splint or mouth guard at night
- Reduce stress in your life
- Stay away from caffeine
- Check in with yourself throughout the day. Are you clenching? Take a deep breath, smile, and relax your jaw.
Healthy Gum Tissue
If you are experiencing moderate to severe forms of gum disease, your dentist may suggest waiting on implants. Your gum tissue must be healthy as gum disease can also negatively affect the prognosis of an implant.
If you have gum disease, your dentist can help treat your gum tissue before implant surgery. Treating this disease will make getting an implant possible, but it will also benefit your dental and overall health.
How Long Will It Take To Get My Implant?
It is essential to realize that getting an implant is a process, and how long it takes varies for every person.
When a standard implant procedure, the implant is surgically placed, and then the following 3-4 months are for healing. After healing has taken place and bone is firmly supporting the implant, the crown is attached.
In some cases, bone grafting is required before the implant placement. In this case, treatment may take an additional few months.
How Long Will My Implant Last?
Ideally, you would get your implant and never have to replace it again in your life!
The success rate for dental implants is very high, but just like home care is key in keeping your natural teeth, it is also the case with dental implants.
Brushing, flossing, and seeking routine dental care and evaluations is the best way to ensure that your dental implants will last.
So, your next step in getting implants is a simple one. Call your dentist today for your evaluation to see if you are a dental implant candidate!
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