Are You Eligible For Dental Implants? What You Should Know

Dental implants have become an increasingly popular option for treating missing teeth, and for good reason. Implants rely on metal posts that are inserted directly into your jawbone. The goal is to preserve the health of your jawbone so that you don't suffer bone loss or tooth shifting, among other benefits. If you've been considering your options for replacing missing teeth, you might be thinking about dental implants. Here are some of the things your dentist will consider to determine if you are a good candidate for dental implants.

Your Age

One of the first things that must be considered when you're thinking about dental implants is your age. Your dentist won't typically consider dental implants if your jawbone isn't finished developing. That means that teenagers and younger individuals are not typically eligible for dental implant surgery.

It's important that your jawbone development be completed before your dental implants are placed because any further development in the bone can lead to your implants shifting. This can cause misalignment of your teeth, which can be problematic. As a result, your dentist will likely tell you that you're not a good candidate for implant surgery if you are too young.

Gum Health

Another important consideration for being a candidate for dental implants is the health of your gums. Because of the way that dental implants are put into place, your gums must be in good condition and healthy. If you have gum disease, you'll have to have it treated and restore your gums to proper health before the implants can be placed.

Your gum health matters because of the nature of dental implant security. The implants must be properly secured not only in the bone but also around your gums. When you heal from the surgery, the implant integrates into your jawbone and your gums heal around the post before the crown is placed. When your gums aren't healthy, they can't support this.

Bone Condition

Your dentist will need to evaluate the condition of your jawbone before deciding if you qualify for dental implants. Your jawbone must be strong and healthy to support the implant post. It must be able to heal accordingly and complete the osseointegration process, attaching the steel post to your jawbone.

If your jawbone isn't healthy and it splinters, the implant won't stay in place properly, leaving you vulnerable to damage, injury, and problems chewing. In some cases, you may be able to have a bone graft if your jawbone isn't in strong enough condition. Talk with your dentist about the possibility of a bone graft in your situation if it's needed.

Overall Health

Your dentist will also ask you a series of questions about your overall health before deciding if you're a good fit for dental implants. Because dental implants are, in fact, a surgical procedure, you'll have to be in good enough overall health to go through the procedure and the recovery.

If you have an autoimmune disease or other health condition that affects your body's ability to heal, you may not be considered a good candidate for dental implants. Your body will need to be able to heal from the procedure without an increased risk of infection or other complications.

Make sure that you are honest with your dentist about any health conditions you might have, even if you don't think they are relevant. For example, diabetes is an important consideration because it can not only slow your healing but can also make you more vulnerable to infection.

These are some of the most important considerations when you're trying to decide if you're a good candidate for dental implants. If you've been considering implants, talk with your dentist about these factors to determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure.