Are You a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?

Posted on: 28 October 2015


A dental implant is like a false tooth that actually screws into the gum line permanently. Dental implants can be used when you've lost a tooth or need to have a tooth pulled for any reason, and they can improve your appearance and allow you to talk and chew freely. They can even make your mouth safer than having a broken or chipped tooth that may cut and scrape the gums or the inside of the cheeks. If you're not sure if a dental implant is the right choice for you, note a few considerations to discuss with your dentist.

1. Your overall health

Your gum line needs to be strong enough to support a dental implant, and someone with a health condition that may affect the mouth may not be a good candidate. These conditions may include severe gum disease, uncontrolled diabetes, or oral cancer. If you are receiving radiation or are a heavy smoker or drinker, these factors too may affect your candidacy. The dental implant needs to actually fuse to the bone of the jaw to stay in place and if your health is compromised, this process may also be compromised.

2. If you may tend to neglect dentures and bridges

One advantage of a dental implant is that it's a permanent solution for tooth loss; you don't need to take it out and clean it every day as you do dentures and bridges. Many people tend to neglect the care of their dentures and bridges and, in turn, they may suffer bad breath, an increased risk of oral infection due to a buildup of bacteria and other irritants, and other such problems. With a dental implant, you can simply clean it as you brush your other teeth.

3. If you hate wearing dentures or a bridge

A person may also neglect even wearing their dentures or their bridge because they're embarrassed for others to know that they have these appliances, or because they feel uncomfortable. This can be damaging to your overall oral health, as dentures and bridges protect your exposed gums. A bridge can keep surrounding teeth from shifting into the empty pocket of a missing tooth. Dentures and bridges can also keep the bones of the jaw stimulated so you don't suffer bone loss.

If you have a missing tooth or teeth and don't like wearing your dentures or a bridge for any reason, a dental implant may be the right choice for you. Discuss this option with your dentist so you protect your teeth and your overall oral health.