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If you have a missing tooth, you may wonder, “who is a good candidate for implants?” More importantly, you may wonder if you are a good candidate for dental implants.
Whether your dentist suggested implants or you feel self-conscious about a missing tooth, we hope we can help you find those answers.
What is a Dental Implant
A dental implant is topped with an artificial tooth. When successfully placed, the implant looks and functions like a natural tooth. If you feel self-conscious about a gap in your mouth, an implant can improve the appearance of your smile.
Since your teeth support each other, an implant can also help prevent your other teeth from shifting position. Shifting teeth is both an aesthetic concern and an oral health problem. Sometimes misaligned teeth make it difficult to floss, increasing the risk of gum disease. Also, there may be more wear and tear on the teeth. In other words, an implant can help improve or maintain your oral health while improving your appearance.
We hope this guide helps you consider whether a dental implant is a good solution for your needs. This isn’t a substitute for personalized dental care. Only a dentist who has examined your teeth and knows the details of your overall health can determine whether you are a great candidate for dental implants.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Sometimes people wonder whether the benefits of a dental implant outweigh the expense. For people who feel self-conscious about their appearance or dislike dentures, the investment may be well worth it.
WebMD outlines some of the benefits of dental implants over nothing or removable dental appliances:
- More comfort since the implants start to feel like part of you rather than an appliance inside your mouth.
- It is easier to eat since the implant is placed like your natural tooth; dentures can move or slide around.
- Implants also can help preserve your oral health. Nearby teeth support each other, and a gap can cause them to shift for less optimal alignment, a higher risk of cavities, and more difficulty flossing or brushing.
- The implant can help preserve bone density.
- Fixed implants are more convenient than removable dentures and bridges. With dentures, you need to clean them and affix them in place. Implants are more like your natural teeth in terms of convenience.
- Dental implants are durable and should last for years or possibly a lifetime.
Every person needs to decide for themselves whether they prefer dental implants over removable dentures, bridges, or other dental appliances. The best way to learn your options is to talk with a skilled dentist.
If you decide you want implants, your dentist will need to determine whether you are a good candidate.
How to Tell Whether You Are a Good Candidate for Implants
Your dentist will want to examine your mouth if they haven’t already done so. Most people who have good general and oral health for oral surgery or extraction are good candidates for a dental implant. However, dental health varies by person, so the best option for one person may not be suitable for another.
Your dentist will want to consider your gum health and the bone density in your jaw. If you have gum disease, your dentist may recommend steps to improve it, such as a professional deep cleaning and improved oral hygiene. Gum disease harms the bones in our mouth, and loose swollen gums won’t hold the implants in place, as well as healthy gums.
Even before your consultation, you can improve your gum health by flossing daily. You may want to try a mouthwash if your gums are swollen or inflamed. While inflamed gums bleed from flossing, this usually improves as you stay consistent.
Adequate bone density is crucial since the Implant is inserted into the bone. While having an implant may prevent some bone loss, you need to start with a certain degree of bone health. Your dentist will need to take x-rays or use imaging technology to assess your bone’s health if it has been a while since x-rays were taken.
In summary, here are some criteria for a good candidate for dental implants:
- Good overall general health and nonsmoker (smoking interferes with healing)
- No history of bone density medications
- Good gum health and adequate bone density.
- Consistent oral hygiene, as the natural teeth, gums, and implants require cleaning and flossing.
- Realistic expectations of the results you may experience, which you gain from research, reading articles like this, and most importantly, from a consultation with your dentist.
In some cases, you may have some issues that wouldn’t make you a strong candidate, but your dentist believes you are based on your specific case. Your dentist may suggest other treatments to prepare you for the implant.
Schedule a Consultation at Southview Dentistry
With any dental procedure, an examination and consultation are your starting point. Dental work is customized to each person’s needs, so it is hard to say who is and isn’t a good candidate.
Southview Dentistry is privileged to offer preventative, general, and cosmetic dentistry services to people who live in the Charlotte, NC, area. We love seeing our patients’ confident smiles after receiving a well-fitted dental implant. For many people, an implant improves their well-being, quality of life, and confidence.