Who is a Candidate?
Dental implants, though an invasive procedure, are becoming more popular in restoration dentistry. Unfortunately, this procedure is not a good option for everyone as there are certain characteristics that would make you a good candidate for the procedure. Luckily, age is not a factor in dental implant surgery. Though we typically perform this surgery on older patients, since they are the individuals losing their teeth in most cases, we can provide dental implants for our pediatric patients as well. That said, your jawbone must be developed enough to support the implants. At Precision Dental Specialties, we will explain how we determine candidacy for dental implant surgery.
Before we perform any dental surgery, we need to make sure that you are in good dental health. Your jaw and gum must be able to support the implants and there cannot be any active infection. We can do implants for single teeth or multiple, so this is not really a factor in the decision. However, people often lose their teeth due to infection or disease and not necessarily an injury. So, this must be treated before implants can be considered.
Overall Health Condition
In addition to good dental health, you must also be in good overall health. With any surgical procedure, dental or otherwise, there is a risk for infection. We cannot perform this surgery if you are not in good overall health because we do not want to risk you becoming very sick. Infection can spread from the mouth into the bloodstream, affecting the rest of your body. So, you must have an immune system healthy enough to fight off bacteria before you can receive implants. Contact us for more information on specific health conditions that would be a concern for this procedure.
Beyond disease and infection treatment, we need to ensure that your jaw is strong enough to support dental implants. We will initially provide a visual exam and dental x-rays to check the condition of your jawbone. If it cannot handle endosteal implants, which are placed in the jaw, we can possibly provide subperiosteal implants. These are less sturdy, but this is because they do not need to penetrate the jawbone.
In addition, for the upper jaw, we can perform sinus augmentation or ridge modification. These procedures help to strengthen the jaw and get it ready for endosteal implants. Sinus augmentation, or a sinus lift, increases the amount of available bone tissue. Ridge modification involves the use of a bone graft to increase the available tissue. We can sometimes provide bone grafts for the lower jaw if this is an issue as well.
If you are missing teeth, but you are not a good candidate for dental implants, you do still have several restoration options. Dental implants are simply an alternative to these other options. For example, you can get partial dentures or bridges to fill in gaps between the teeth. These can be attached to dental implants, but do not necessarily have to be. Instead, we can provide these restorations by cementing them to the teeth beside them. Call Precision Dental Specialties at 435-522-5629 for more information on dental implant candidacy.