How to Know if You Are a Good Candidate for Dental Implants
The smile is your calling card to the world, but what if you’re one of the 69 percent of adults who have lost at least one permanent tooth by the time they’re 44 years old? This statistic might be daunting, but there’s a silver lining. Dental implants offer an effective solution to replace your missing teeth and restore your radiant smile.
They provide a long-lasting solution, but it’s crucial to determine if you’re a suitable candidate for this dental procedure. To make things easier for you, we’ve put together a guide. Keep reading to find out more.
Having Healthy Gums
If you want to have a strong and beautiful smile, you need to have healthy gums. For a dental implant to succeed, your gums must be free of periodontal disease.
But how do you know if your gums are healthy? Signs of healthy gums include a pink (not red or white) color and a firm texture.
Also, they should not bleed when you brush or floss, and you should not have persistent bad breath.
Factors that influence gum health include your diet, oral hygiene routine, and stress levels. Some medications can also negatively influence your overall dental health.
To keep your gums in peak condition, brush twice daily, floss regularly, and visit your dentist for check-ups and cleanings every six months. Also, a balanced diet rich in vitamins C and E can boost gum health.
Sufficient Bone Density
Just as plants need firm soil to grow, dental implants require a certain amount of bone density for successful placement and integration.
Dental implants, like the popular all-on-four teeth, need strong, dense bones to hold them in place. The jaw bone acts as a foundation for these implants. But why is bone density important?
Bone density provides a stable base for the implant. Without it, the implant may fail because it can’t integrate or bond with the jaw bone. This is a process that dentists refer to as osseointegration.
If you have low bone density, you might need bone grafting to prepare for oral surgery and implant placement. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and avoiding excessive alcohol can help maintain good bone health.
Great Oral and Health Hygiene
Having excellent oral hygiene is not just crucial for your natural teeth. It is also essential for the longevity of your dental implants.
Regular brushing and flossing help to remove bacteria. This will prevent infections and diseases that could compromise your dental implants.
Oral hygiene is essential for avoiding peri-implantitis, which is an inflammatory condition that often causes implant failure.
Also, regular dental check-ups can help spot potential problems early. Dentists often recommend using a soft-bristled toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste. This will prevent you from scratching the surface of the implant.
Not a Frequent Tobacco User
If you’re a smoker, getting dental implants might be more challenging. This is because tobacco use can hinder the healing process after oral surgery. But how much tobacco use is too much?
Even smoking a few cigarettes a day can impair healing and increase the risk of complications.
The best way to improve your chances of a successful dental implant is to quit smoking altogether. If you’re struggling, seek help from healthcare providers or support groups.
They can provide useful resources and strategies to help you kick the habit.
Bruxism, or tooth grinding, can wear down your natural teeth. If you grind your teeth after a dentist installs dental implants, you might damage them.
This tends to occur unconsciously, especially during sleep. One of the most common signs that you are grinding your teeth at night includes soreness in the jaw and headaches after waking.
This grinding puts extra pressure on the implants, which can cause them to fracture or fail. A dentist can provide a mouthguard to wear at night.
This will protect your teeth and implants. Stress management techniques, like yoga or meditation, can also prevent bruxism.
Who Is Not a Candidate for Dental Implants in Los Angeles?
Dental implants are an excellent solution for many. But understand that they’re not the right option for everyone.
Those who are not good candidates typically include those with certain uncontrolled chronic diseases that can impede healing. This includes conditions such as diabetes or heart disease.
Similarly, people undergoing radiation therapy in the head or neck region may also not be ideal candidates.
If you are a young person whose jawbone is still growing, you also might not qualify. Heavy smokers and alcohol or substance abusers, who are less likely to follow aftercare instructions, may also face challenges with implants.
Finally, the cost can be a barrier. This is because dental implant pricing is higher than that of other tooth replacement options.
The good news is that most dentists will go out of their way to offer pricing plans that meet the various needs of their patients.
There are also several alternatives to dental implants. Dentures are one popular choice. They are less expensive and can be a good solution for those with significant bone loss.
Keep in mind that they do not offer the same stability as dental implants and you might need to replace them more frequently.
Another alternative is a dental bridge. This uses the surrounding teeth as a support for the replacement teeth. They are less invasive and more affordable than dental implants, but bridges do require altering the supporting teeth.
Are You a Candidate for Dental Implants?
If you’re ready to replace one or more teeth that you’ve lost, it is a good idea to figure out whether you are a candidate for dental implants.
The best dental implant candidates have healthy gums, practice good oral hygiene, and have sufficient jaw bone density. If you are not a candidate for this procedure, there are other options available to you.
Regardless of which type of procedure is right for your needs, it is essential to choose a dentist or oral surgeon who is highly experienced and who makes use of the best technologies that are available.
That’s where the Santa Monica Center for Oral Surgery and Dental Implants comes in.
We have doctors who teach at some of the world’s top institutions such as the UCLA School of Dentistry. Don’t hesitate to contact us to book an exam today!