Am I a suitable candidate for dental implants?
The answer to that is a resounding ‘yes’ for most people, however there are certain individuals who will not be suitable for dental implants. Practically everyone that approaches us for dental implants receives treatment and is extremely satisfied with the results, even if other dentists have told them that they cannot have dental implants. This is because our surgeons are experienced in advanced dental implant techniques and procedures.
Dental implant dentistry has undergone a series of technological advances over the past few years which you will benefit from here at Cailber. The treatment is tailored to your individual needs and can last a lifetime.
In fact, dental implants are increasingly preferred to bridges and dentures which are now seen as old fashioned and out of step with many of our patient’s needs. They are suitable for people of all ages who have followed a healthy dental hygiene routine.
That last sentence is important: you have a greater chance of success with implants if you have looked after your teeth and gums. A failure to do so results in tooth decay and/or gum disease which may prevent an implant from successfully integrating within the jaw.
Suitability for dental implant treatment
A Caliber implant dentist will assess your needs before deciding upon the most appropriate implant for you. He or she will look at your lifestyle as well as your dental and general health in order to determine your suitability and whether there are likely to be any problems with this treatment.
What will influence his/her decision is bone density and volume in your jaw. There needs to be a sufficient amount of bone tissue in the jaw in order to support the implant and crown. A decrease in bone density means a thinner, weaker jawbone which will be unable to hold the implant in place leading to a risk of failure.
But if you have experienced bone loss due to a missing tooth then there is the option of a bone graft which will enable you to have an implant. X-rays and a CT scan will determine the volume of bone tissue available and the most suitable type of bone graft.
For those individuals with poor bone density that require to replace a full arch of teeth many of our Caliber implant dentists can provide alternative implant procedures such as the All-on-4 technique which often do not require any bone grafting.
Exclusions for dental implants
Anyone can benefit from dental implants but unfortunately, there are groups of people who for particular reasons are unable to have this treatment.
These groups include:
- Heavy smokers
- Heavy drinkers
- People with compromised immune systems
- People with bruxism (teeth grinding)
- People suffering from tooth decay and/or gum disease
In some cases, these people are able to undergo treatment but are at a much higher risk of failure. But in others, they are advised against treatment altogether. The important thing to note is that if the above problems are first rectified then the success on implant treatment is much higher.
Lifestyle factors such as smoking or excess alcohol consumption will reduce your chances of being accepted for treatment. The main reasons for this are poor healing (slower recovery), risk of infections and poor circulation.
If you are suffering from an autoimmune disease such as Type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, Addison’s disease, lupus or multiple sclerosis then you are unlikely to be considered for treatment. This also applies if you have undergone chemotherapy or radiation therapy or are taking corticosteroids.
Teeth grinding is more common than you think but there is treatment available for this, which includes wearing a special splint over the teeth to prevent damage caused by grinding.
Continual grinding gradually wears down the teeth leading to a range of problems but this is preventable.
If you grind your teeth (which often happen when you are asleep!) then don’t think this will rule you out from having dental implants as it can be treated with a splint.
Tooth decay and/or gum disease often result in loose teeth, which eventually fall out. Plaque builds up on the tooth which eventually leads to small holes or cavities. These cavities enable the infection to spread throughout the rest of the tooth until it reaches the root where it attacks the sensitive nerves within. The result is toothache and loss.
But plaque also attacks the gums as well causing them to become red and swollen which bleed when brushed. If left untreated the gums start to recede which causes the teeth to loosen and eventually drop out.
Both of these are contributory causes of bone loss. If you suffer from one or both of these then they will reduce the chances of a successful implantation. Tooth decay and/or gum disease need to be treated before proceeding with a dental implant.
Our implant dentist will decide whether you are a suitable candidate or not for dental implants. In most cases, any problems such as the ones listed above can be treated before implant placement.
Our implant dentists reserve their right to refuse treating a patient for implants if they feel that they are not suitable for treatment. We believe that every treatment that we carry out should be in the best interest of the patient. If you are refused treatment we will explain the reasons for the refusal before suggesting an alternative.
The majority of people we see are able to have dental implants so there is no reason to think that this won’t be you.