14 Jul Am I a candidate for dental implants?
Dental implants offer patients a durable, stable and lifelike solution following tooth loss. However, some patients may not be an immediate candidate for dental implants. These patients may need preliminary treatments prior to implant placement.
Certain conditions must be met in order for a patient to be eligible for dental implants. At your initial consultation, your oral surgeon will evaluate various aspects of your case to be sure that you have good chances of long-term implant success.
The most important factor is the quality of bone at the implant site. After a tooth is lost, the jawbone in the area begins to erode as well because the absent tooth’s root is no longer available to anchor it. This process proceeds more quickly at the rear of the jaw, where the bone is thinner.
Implant patients must have enough bone to support osseointegration, the process by which jawbone material forms a bond with the titanium implant. If that bond is not secure, the implant may fail in the future.
If you have experienced extensive bone loss and do not have a sufficient amount of bone to support osseointegration, that doesn’t automatically rule you out permanently as a candidate for dental implants. Your oral surgeon may be able to perform a preliminary bone graft or sinus lift to supplement the available bone material. The oral surgeon can proceed with implant placement after the patient has healed from the bone graft.
Patients also must have good overall and oral health in order to tolerate the surgery needed for dental implant placement. If active infection or gum disease is present, that condition must be controlled before the procedure can be completed.
Dental implant patients with a history of gum disease should also take precautions to prevent a relapse of that condition, as advanced periodontitis can compromise the bond between the bone and the dental implant.
Advances in dental technology have made dental implants a possibility for an increasing number of patients. If you have any concerns about not being suitable for dental implant placement, discuss them with your oral surgeon early in the treatment planning process so that you can collaborate on a plan to help you access dental implants.
To learn more about your tooth replacement options, contact Commonwealth Oral & Facial Surgery and schedule your informative consultation today.