May 08, 2023
Dental implants are among the most trusted solutions for fixing tooth loss. They're permanent and can be used instead of bridges. This treatment is used to replace a single or many teeth. Once the surgery is complete and successful, the results mimic natural teeth in shape, size, and color.
Dental implants are installed deep into the jawbone. This means the treatment is only ideal for individuals with fully developed and sufficient jawbones. However, if your jawbone is fully developed but can't support dental implants, your dentist might perform a bone grafting procedure. This involves harvesting bone from another part of your body and installing it in your jawbone to enable dental implant surgery.
Keep reading to learn more about whether you're a good candidate for dental implants.
Who Is A Good Candidate For Dental Implants?
Most people are ideal candidates for dental implants. However, some can't have them. Among those who might not get this treatment include children. Experts say children's jawbones are still developing and might not support dental implants.
When the jawbone hasn't developed fully, it undergoes several structural changes. Installing dental implants in such a jaw might cause them to shift as it develops, which could result in a crooked smile that requires fixing later.
However, girls over 15 years can get dental implants since, at this age, their jawbones are likely to be fully developed. As for boys, the ideal age to get dental implants is 17. Doctors believe girls' jawbones grow faster than boys, hence the age difference.
To determine if you're an ideal candidate for dental implants, you must have the following characteristics:
Have Sufficient Fully Developed Jawbone
As stated earlier, a fully developed jawbone is necessary to protect and support the implants. The implants are anchored to the bone, so it should be strong enough to offer the necessary support. Nevertheless, if your bone is developed but insufficient, your doctor will perform some procedures to rebuild it or prescribe another dental treatment.
Have Healthy Gums
During dental implant surgery, dentists work closely with your gums—for instance, they open the gums to install the implants and abutment. Therefore, your gums must be healthy and unlikely to develop an infection after the surgery. People with compromised gums, such as those with gingivitis or periodontal disease, might not be ideal candidates for dental implants.
No Or Minimal Bruxism
People with bruxism grind and clench their teeth regularly. Such individuals may not be ideal candidates for dental implants. When you constantly grind or clench your teeth, you expose them to excess pressure that might interfere with implant integration. In such a case, the implants might fail and require removal.
Excellent Oral Hygiene
Good oral hygiene is the key to maintaining a healthy smile and preventing dental-related conditions. Besides that, it plays a significant role in whether you can get dental implants. While your oral hygiene might not directly interfere with you getting the implants, your dentists will want to ensure you can take care of the implants after installation. If you fail to keep your mouth clean, dental implants may cause infection, especially during the healing period.
That said, it's essential to ensure you maintain good oral hygiene. Brush at least twice a day and floss once. You should also attend dental checkup appointments after every six months. This way, your dentist will monitor your progress and advise the way forward.
You Don't Smoke
If you smoke or use other tobacco products, consider waving dental implants goodbye. Dentists discourage people who smoke from getting dental implants since chemicals in tobacco products interfere with implant integration. Suppose you smoke and get dental implants; you are likely experience slow healing compared to non-smokers.
If you smoke and are considering dental implants, you should quit smoking first. Besides tobacco affecting your oral health, it also adversely affects your general health; hence quitting is the best option.
Individuals Who Might Experience Poor Outcomes
Besides children and people who smoke, other individuals who may experience poor outcomes after dental implant surgery include those with uncontrolled diabetes and cancer. People with such conditions have low immunity and are likely to develop infection quickly.
However, if your condition is controlled, meaning you are receiving treatment, your dentist will assess your situation and help you through the healing period after dental implant surgery.
Individuals who use drugs that interfere with their immunity will also likely experience slow healing following a dental implant surgery.
Dental implants are among the most common permanent treatments for tooth loss. The treatment is personalized to attain a natural look while enhancing the smile. Many people are ideal candidates for dental implants, but others aren't. If you are considering dental implants, make sure you have the above-discussed characteristics to ensure quick integration and healing. Your dentist will also help determine whether you should have dental implants or an alternative.
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