Dental implants are the best tooth replacement option, hands down. They look like natural teeth. They function like natural teeth. They require only the maintenance you give natural teeth. And, like natural teeth, they can last a lifetime. Best of all, like natural teeth, almost everyone can get dental implants, and the procedure has very little risk.
This page briefly explains who is the best candidate for dental implant, but to learn whether dental implants are right for you, please call (619) 299-5925 or email us for an appointment with a San Diego implant dentist at Strober Dental.
Who Can’t Get Dental Implants
There are only three necessary conditions that can prevent you from getting dental implants:
- Your jaw hasn’t finished growing
- You are not in good health for surgery
- You have poor oral health
Dental implants are not recommended for children whose jaws haven’t finished growing yet. There are other tooth replacement options that we can use if necessary.
Your doctor will have to give you a clean bill of health for surgery. Dental implant surgery is not especially stressful, but we still want to make sure it’s not putting you at undue risk. We will also review your medication history before planning your procedure. Some antidepressants and medications for osteoporosis can increase your risk of complications.
We will evaluate your oral health before planning your dental implant procedure. If necessary, we will recommend gum disease treatment. Gum disease is the leading cause of dental implant failure, so it must be treated before your dental implant is placed to give you the best odds of success. In addition, we will make sure that your other teeth are healthy, and none of them pose a potential danger to your dental implants because of infection risk.
The Ideal Dental Implant Candidate
Meeting the above criteria mean you can get dental implants. But it’s even better if you also:
- Have adequate bone in your jaw
- Are currently a nonsmoker
- Commit to caring for dental implants
We will evaluate the site or sites where we are going to place dental implants. If there is adequate bone at these sites, you can get your dental implants right away. If there isn’t enough bone to support your dental implants, we may recommend that you get a bone graft before your implants are placed. Sometimes we may be able to avoid and improve odds of success by finding alternate solutions such as a different placement for the implants, or using angled or zygomatic implants.
Smokers can get dental implants, and many of them are happy with the results of their procedure. However, failure rates for dental implants in smokers is much higher. Not only are smokers at higher risk for gum disease, but nicotine can impact bone healing, leading to the formation of soft, fibrous tissue rather than bone around your implant. Quitting smoking before your procedure and during the recovery period is recommended, and, ideally, you should quit smoking altogether.
You should be committed to the care and maintenance of your dental implants. This is too big an investment to simply let them fail through neglect. Fortunately, care for dental implants is easy. Make all your follow-up appointments during the recovery period, and always follow all hygiene instructions. After your procedure is complete, all you have to do is brush, floss, and make regular dental visits.
With that kind of care, your dental implants can last a lifetime: the longest anyone has had dental implants is nearly fifty years and counting.