Are You a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?
Undergoing placement for dental implants can significantly improve a patient’s oral health, function, and appearance. However, patients must undergo a thorough evaluation to determine if they are good candidates for dental implants. In Jackson, MS, Dr. Roger Parkes and Dr. Clarke Stewart offer individualized consultations to establish candidacy for dental implant treatment.
How We Evaluate Dental Implant Candidacy
To obtain adequate information about a patient who is considering implants, dental professionals ask many questions and perform diagnostic procedures. For instance, patients will be asked about their prior and current health histories, including the medications they take, any managed and unmanaged medical conditions, and potential disorders of the blood.
If you are told you are not an immediate candidate for dental implants, you may be able to improve your candidacy with in-house dental procedures.
In addition, the dentist will examine the patient's teeth and gums, taking advanced x-rays and images of the jaw using advanced equipment. Based on the collective information gathered during the initial evaluation, Dr. Parkes or Dr. Stewart can decide if someone is a good candidate for dental implants. If not, the patient may be disqualified from receiving this treatment in lieu of an alternative solution.
Conditions that Could Disqualify You for Dental Implants
In the majority of cases, patients can qualify for some type of dental implant. However, patients who present any of the following issues may need to wait for implant surgery:
- Smoking: Patients who smoke are at a higher risk of dental implant failure than those who do not smoke. For this reason, dentists may require patients to stop smoking before they can receive dental implants.
- Gum disease: Unmanaged, untreated gum disease destroys healthy gingiva, tooth, and bone. Before dental implant placement, patients with gum disease must successfully treat the condition.
- Poor general health: The dental implant placement procedure requires incisions and sutures, so patients must be healthy enough to undergo surgery.
- Uncontrolled diabetes: Patients with uncontrolled diabetes must first seek appropriate treatment with their primary care physician before pursuing dental implant surgery.
- Radiation therapy: Patients currently undergoing, or who formerly underwent, radiation therapy to the face and neck area are not good candidates for dental implants.
- Medical dependency: Certain medications may increase patient risk during dental implant surgery. These medications can include steroids and blood thinners.
- Pregnancy: Women who are pregnant should wait until after they give birth to undergo dental implant surgery.
- Youth: Dental implants are not well-suited for patients whose jaws are still growing.
- Low bone density: Although mini dental implants may be possible for patients with low bone density, severe atrophy usually requires bone grafting before placement of dental implants.
Procedures That Can Restore Implant Candidacy
If you are told you are not an immediate candidate for dental implants, you may be able to improve your candidacy with in-house dental procedures. A few common treatments that dentists can use to improve a patient’s candidacy for dental implants include:
- Bone graft: Bone grafting involves replacing weak bone with human, animal, or synthetic bone material. Bone grafts strengthen deficient areas, allowing for safe placement of traditional and mini dental implants.
- Sinus lift: A sinus lift is a bone graft in the upper arch of the jaw. This procedure is necessary when the sinus membrane drops down and invades the area where the implant post should be placed. As with all bone grafts, the sinus lift site will take several months to heal.
- Gum disease treatment: Even patients with advanced gum disease may eventually become candidates for dental implants if they control the condition with periodontal treatment. Once the gum disease is managed, patients may then be able to undergo dental implant placement.
Find Out If You Are a Candidate
For good candidates, dental implants offer a fixed, long-term solution to the problem of missing teeth. Since 1981, our office has continued to improve its technology and treatments, and has extended patient financing options to include third-party solutions such as CareCredit®. We are proudly affiliated with the American Academy of Periodontology, American Dental Association, Southern Academy of Periodontology, and American College of Dentists. Additionally, our devoted team members focus on high-quality patient care by routinely exceeding the expected number of annual continuing education courses. To arrange a consultation for dental implant placement, send us a message or call our office at (601) 956-1230.