Who is a Candidate?
Dental implants are a unique treatment for replacing missing teeth, providing you with an incredible alternative to traditional bridges and dentures. Implants involve surgically placing small titanium posts into your jaw to provide support for replacement teeth. Dental implants can be used to treat many different patients with many different needs. Before you can get implants, it is important to find out if you are an ideal candidate. Treasure Valley Oral & Facial Surgery can help.
You Have Missing Teeth
There are many reasons you might lose teeth. Common causes of tooth loss include periodontal disease and facial trauma. Dental implants are a solution for tooth loss. Implants are an incredibly versatile solution, too. They can replace a single missing tooth, several missing teeth, or even an entire arch of missing teeth. Dental implants may also be discussed if you need to have one or more teeth extracted.
You are an Adult
You are never too old for dental implants. Many older patients mistakenly believe that they are too old to enjoy the many benefits that implants have to offer. This just is not true. So long as you meet other requirements, it does not matter how old you are. It is important to keep in mind, though, that you can be too young.
Dental implants are not recommended for children or teens who lose a permanent tooth. This is because the jawbone is still growing and developing. It continues to do so until your late teens to early 20s. Placing an implant in an underdeveloped jaw can cause complications. If your child has lost a permanent tooth, another treatment, such as a bridge, should be used. Once the jaw has stopped growing, your child can then consider getting an implant.
You are Healthy
To get dental implants, you need to undergo surgery. To be cleared to get surgery, you have to be in good health. Certain health conditions, including heart disease and diabetes, can impact your candidacy. Just because you have one of these conditions, however, this does not mean you cannot get implants. The condition will first need to be well-controlled. Placing implants when your condition is not well-managed can cause complications during surgery as well as during recovery. It can also impact the success of the treatment.
In addition to your overall health, your oral health also plays a role. If you have any oral health conditions, such as periodontal disease or cavities, these conditions will need to be treated. Otherwise, your risks for infections and implant failure increase significantly.
You Do Not Drink or Smoke
During your initial consultation, you will be questioned about your lifestyle habits, particularly your drinking and tobacco habits. Alcohol use can affect the ability of your blood to clot, which can cause issues during surgery. Smoking and other tobacco products can affect oxygen in your blood and slow your blood flow. This can slow the healing process, which greatly increases your risk of infections.
Additionally, cigarettes and other tobacco products can interfere with your immune system, which also increases your infection risk. Alcohol and tobacco use do not mean you cannot get implants. You will be recommended to quit these habits before surgery. Quitting for good is ideal. However, if you are unable to quit smoking completely, you should at least quit for the duration of your treatment.
Your Jawbone is in Good Shape
The condition of your jawbone plays a significant role in your candidacy for implants. Your jawbone fuses to the implant posts as you heal, stabilizing them so they can provide secure support for your replacement teeth. However, after tooth loss, your jawbone begins to lose bone mass and weaken. If you lose too much bone mass, your jawbone cannot fuse to the implant posts properly, or at all. This can result in loose implant posts or total implant failure.
If your jawbone is too weak during your initial consultation, you may be recommended for a bone graft. This is a surgical procedure that involves transplanting bone material from another area of your body, or a compatible donor, to the weak areas of your jawbone. Once healed from this surgery, we can begin the implant process.
Dental implants can be used to meet many different tooth loss needs. If you are interested in dental implants, call Treasure Valley Oral & Facial Surgery today at (208) 994-6227 to schedule your appointment and find out if they are the right solution for you.