Are You A Good Candidate for Dental Implants?

Oral and facial surgery at the Surgical Arts Centre in Missoula, Montana Many of our patients are surprised to learn that most people are great candidates for dental implants – and that implants have a large number of advantages over dentures, partial dentures, and bridges. In fact, at the Surgical Arts Centre, we have given dental implants to more than one patients who was over 100 years old. Of course, not everyone is an ideal dental implant patient. Fortunately, the surgeons at the Surgical Arts Centre are experts at overcoming most challenges and have years of experience providing the best treatment for many patients who were told elsewhere it could not be done. Below, learn about whether implants are a smart choice for your tooth replacement strategy.

Issues That May Affect Your Dental Implant Candidacy

The vast majority of people may benefit from dental implants, but for a small sector of the population the procedure is not recommended. Speak with your oral surgeon if you:
  • Have substantial bone loss in your jaw. Implants must be in the jaw bone. If you do not have an adequate amount of bone to support the typical dental implant placement, you may need to have bone grafting performed prior to implant placement. Newer techniques which the surgeons at the Surgical Arts Centre have helped develop, utilize strategic placement of implants in difficult situations and facilitate successful implant placement for patients with very little bone, without the need or bone grafting.
  • Have an addiction issue.  Very heavy cigarette use may compromise the early healing or long term success of dental implants. Implants may be placed for these patients, but it is important to understand the habit may increase the risk of complication. Heavy alcohol or illegal drug users may suffer from a lack of oral health as well as an inability to care for their implants. In addition, those with addictions may struggle to comply with the need for follow-up care.
  • Have issues with caring for your teeth. If you cannot commit to caring for your implants or getting regular cleanings, you should not get dental implants. Dental implant supported teeth, require diligent care and maintenance, just like natural teeth. You should be able to brush and floss daily to maintain tooth and gum health in addition to attending regular dentist visits and follow-ups.
  • Are a teen or child. Children have jaw bones that are still growing and should therefore not receive dental implants. However, many young people with tooth loss opt for a temporary tooth replacement just until they are old enough to receive a dental implant.
  • Are pregnant. Pregnant women should wait to have dental implants until after the birth of her child or children.
  • Have uncontrolled gum disease. Gingivitis and periodontitis  are serious oral health problems that must be treated before implants are placed because gum disease can affect the success of an implant procedure.
  • Suffer from certain illnesses or diseases. Those with uncontrolled diabetes, connective tissue diseases, hemophilia, end stage kidney or liver disease, or some immune deficiency diseases should seek alternatives to dental implants.
  • Have a weakened immune system. If you have certain diseases or conditions that affect the health of your immune system, you may not be a good candidate for dental implants.
  • Have had radiation treatment. Those who currently have cancer or those who have had radiation treatment of the jaw or head may require special precautions or protocols in order to receive dental implants. Some patients in these categories may not be recommended for a dental implant.
It is important to note that having many of the above conditions does not automatically rule you out for a dental implant procedure. It is also important to note that some people may be a good candidate for some types of dental implant, but not a good candidate for other types.  The best way to know whether dental implants are right for you is to speak to an experienced oral and maxillofacial surgeon.

Determining Whether Dental Implants Are Right For You

Before recommending a dental implant procedure at the Surgical Arts Centre, you will meet with one of our oral surgeons to determine whether you are an ideal candidate. We will take a very close look at your medical records, interview you about your health, and assess the current health of your teeth and jaw. This assessment could include radiographs, CT scans, and other forms of imaging along with a traditional examination of your mouth, jaw, and bite. Ready to learn if dental implants may be right for you? Speak to an oral surgeon or schedule a consultation at the Surgical Arts Centre today by calling (406) 549-6600.
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