People lose teeth for many different reasons, which explains why tooth loss has affected an estimated 178 million Americans! Injuries, gum disease, poor oral hygiene, and even heredity are just some of the reasons for this common problem. Dental implants have become an incredibly popular way to replace missing teeth for one reason: They look and feel more natural than anything else. But one of the first questions people often ask is, “Am I a good candidate?” Keep reading for more information and find out how implants can be customized for any situation!
Are You a Good Candidate?
When you see an implant dentist, they’ll look at several factors to make sure the procedure would be successful for you:
- Adequate bone levels – If you’ve been missing your teeth for a long time, there’s a chance that your jaws have become too thin or weak to accommodate an implant. However, there are solutions such as mini-implants or a bone graft, so this doesn’t necessarily “disqualify” you.
- Good hygiene habits – Implants can’t get cavities like natural teeth, but the gums around them must stay clean and healthy.
- Stable general health – Some conditions like uncontrolled diabetes, hemophilia, or severe immune problems can affect your ability to heal after an implant procedure.
- Healthy gums – It’s crucial to have healthy gum tissue and underlying bone around an implant to keep it solid and sturdy for many years.
- Tobacco use – Smoking disrupts the healing process, so, while the success rate for non-smokers is around 98%, it drops to 85% for smokers.
Can Dental Implants Help You?
One of the many advantages of dental implants is that they can be customized for a variety of situations:
- Missing one tooth – Implants are a fantastic way to replace just one missing tooth because they don’t damage the adjacent healthy teeth the way a traditional bridge would.
- Missing several teeth – A implant-retained dental bridge can be supported with just 1-2 implants, making it possible to replace multiple missing teeth at once. This provides significantly more chewing power than a partial denture.
- Missing all teeth on the upper or lower arch – Many people can’t tolerate traditional dentures, which is why implant-retained dentures have become the “gold standard” for anyone missing all their teeth. They make a huge difference in fit and function and, in most cases, only require 2-6 implants per arch.
If you’d like to know more about how implants can help you, a consultation is the first step. After evaluating your dental history, oral health, goals, and other factors, an implant dentist will be able to create the best plan for your smile!
About the Author
Dr. Michelle Zmick is a periodontist with decades of experience and has extensive advanced training as an implant dentist. She knows that implants are an outstanding solution for missing teeth and loves offering her patients an option that looks and feels so natural. If you have any questions about dental implants, she can be reached via her website.