People who have recently lost their teeth often experience difficulty smiling in public or biting and chewing food. In fact, a recent study showed that tooth loss for extended periods could lead to a 25% loss of jawbone strength in the first year and a further 40 to 60 percent loss within the next 3 years.
These developments, if left unchecked, can cause serious problems to an individual, including periodontal diseases and poor oral hygiene. Fortunately, there is an easy way out. Dental implants can be used as a substitute for missing teeth.
Dental Implants are durable, look and feel like natural teeth, and can last for 20 plus years if cared for properly. However, because of the sensitive nature of the procedure, people who wish to have dental implants must possess certain attributes.
What makes someone a good dental implant candidate?
To qualify for dental implants, candidates must check certain health boxes, some of which include:
Healthy Gums and Teeth
Dental implants rely on the surrounding gums and teeth to thrive and last long in the mouth. When a dental implant candidate has unhealthy gums, bacteria are produced, which leads to periodontal diseases, which can inflame the gums and attack the implants, eventually causing damage and a reduced lifespan..
Candidates with untreated gum diseases should undergo periodontal therapy before proceeding with dental implants.
Proper Jawbone structure
The Jawbone provides support for dental implants. They fuse with the dental implants to create an artificial tooth root where the permanent crowns are placed. Therefore, candidates who have lost significant jawbone density either due to disease or long-term absence of teeth can be unsuitable for dental implants unless they undergo bone grafting before the procedure.
Excellent oral hygiene
Oral hygiene is essential to the success of dental implants. Like natural teeth, dental implants are susceptible to diseases resulting from poor oral hygiene. These diseases can cause infections and lead to the failure of the implants if left untreated. Candidates for dental implants should follow good hygiene practices, including:
- Brushing twice daily with a fluoride-based toothpaste
- Flossing regularly after meals
- Periodic professional teeth cleaning
- Using mouthwash to rinse and protect the mouth from bacteria
While dental implants are suitable for most adults and even seniors, children who are still growing can be unfit for dental implants. Growth and development in children can lead to changes in jawbone structure.
Unfortunately, while the natural teeth can adapt to these changes, dental implants are artificial, and these changes in jawbone structure can lead to their failure and reduced lifespan.
Good dental habits
Habits like tobacco, smoking, and alcohol are bad for natural teeth, let alone dental implants. These habits can interfere with the ability of the implants to heal properly, which can lead to infections, inflammation, and a host of other problems.
Candidates who wish to have dental implants must commit to quitting these habits before, during, or after the procedure to ensure the implants are placed successfully. Moreover, habits like grinding and clenching of teeth can put severe pressure on the implants leading to lasting damage.
Overall Health Conditions
Contrary to what you may think, your dental health and overall health are interconnected. For example, illnesses like cancer, diabetes, and autoimmune disorders can disrupt the body’s natural healing ability leading to infection and failure of the dental implants.
Not a Dental Implant Candidate? Get a second opinion from an expert
Dental implants are very sensitive and need extra skill and expertise on the part of the dentists to be placed successfully. Because of the delicate nature of the process, some candidates have been qualified as unfit due to the severe condition of their dental hygiene or, in most cases, the lack of skill or equipment on the part of the dentist. If you are one of these candidates, please don’t hesitate to schedule a free consultation. Even if you have failed dental implants, don’t fret; an experienced dentist can help you get it right, restoring your smile and allowing you to lead the normal and healthy life you deserve.