You may have heard the buzz about dental implants. They are often the best treatment for missing teeth because of their unmatched functional and aesthetic resemblance to natural teeth. While many patients are eligible for dental implants, there are some exceptions. Let’s answer the question of, “Are you eligible for dental implants, Houston?
Determining Dental Implant Eligibility
The first thing to do when determining your eligibility for an implant procedure is to schedule a consultation with an implant dentist. One of the main things that the dentist will consider is the health of your jawbone. An implant procedure requires that an implant be placed into the jawbone to serve as an anchor for the artificial tooth. There must be enough jawbone for the implant to successfully be anchored.
There are methods and treatments to get around the lack of sufficient jawbone. The dentist may use imaging technology to find the best place to anchor the implants. Alternatively, the jawbone can be built up through a bone grafting procedure. Young patients and those with bone-deteriorating conditions are the patients who would likely lack sufficient jaw bone density.
Other Oral Health Considerations
There are other oral health factors that the dentist will take into consideration when determining a patient’s eligibility. The health of your gums and teeth will be examined. Ideally, a candidate would have no untreated dental issues such as tooth decay or gum disease. If such issues are present, you will have to have these treated before proceeding with an implant procedure.
Another factor that is considered is whether or not the patient engages in frequent teeth clenching or grinding. Tooth wear is a common sign of these activities due to the stress that is placed on the teeth. Patients who grind their teeth are not the best candidates for implants. This is because implants can become damaged or cracked due to the pressure caused by teeth grinding/clenching.
Medical Concerns Affecting Implant Eligibility
Your dentist will also look at some general health issues that can be potential barriers to an implant procedure. For example, individuals with weak or compromised immune systems may not be good candidates. Pregnant women and individuals taking certain medications that suppress the immune system fall into this category. Smokers as well as alcohol and drug users may also not be eligible due to complications caused by these activities. Some other conditions such as diabetes and bone or blood disorders may affect eligibility. Sometimes patients with these conditions can still receive an implant treatment. Check with you doctor and dentist.
Even if you think that you may not be a good candidate for dental implants, it’s worth it to schedule a consultation. Dental implant specialists can, in many cases, provide solutions for the issues that may otherwise prevent you from receiving implant treatment. Don’t hold yourself back from the many benefits of dental implants.