If you are missing one or more teeth, then you may be looking for long-lasting ways to replace them. But, with so many options (like bridges, dentures, and dental implants), it’s hard to know which is right for your smile. Luckily, our Fairfield, CT, dentist is here to help you find out if a tooth implant is right for you.
Tooth implants (frequently called dental implants) are the gold standard of tooth-replacement options available to patients today. If you’re interested in exploring your candidacy, then contact Dr. Gary Horblitt here or at (203) 335-1011 to request a consultation.
Meanwhile, let’s see if dental implants are right for you. In this post, we explore qualifying factors that may make you an ideal candidate for tooth implant surgery.
What is a tooth implant?
First, let’s define dental implants.
A dental implant is a very small post that a skilled professional surgically inserts into the jawbone. Over months, the small post and bone tissue fuse together, creating a stable foundation to hold dental restorations, like:
Remarkably, tooth implants have an extraordinary survival rate of roughly 98% over a five-year span.
What qualifies me for dental implants?
There are several qualifying factors to think about when considering dental implants, such as:
- Oral health standing
- Jawbone density
- Health conditions and medications
Let’s explore each factor now.
Oral Health Standing
Patients should have fairly healthy teeth and gums before getting a tooth implant. This means that they should treat all cavities and gum disease before seeking implants. Otherwise, cavities and gum disease may complicate the healing process.
The jawbone quickly breaks down after tooth loss. In fact, experts believe that the bony ridge that holds our teeth in place can degrade by 30% in a single year after tooth loss.
Patients with low jawbone density may prepare for dental implants with the help of a dental bone graft. This procedure places donor tissue over areas of low density, effectively rebuilding a weak jawbone.
Although it is rare, age may play a role in a patient’s candidacy. Teens and young adults may want to wait until their mouths and facial features stop growing and changing before undergoing treatment. And, older patients may want to consider non-surgical options (like removable dentures) to avoid anesthesia and a lengthy recovery.
Health Conditions and Medications
There are a few health conditions and medications that may complicate tooth implant surgery, such as:
- Liver disease
- Some steroids
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (like ibuprofen and aspirin)
- Chemotherapy medications
Always be open and honest about your health conditions and medications with your healthcare providers. They can help you find suitable tooth-replacement alternatives that do not jeopardize your overall health.