How a Dentist Determines if You Are a Candidate for Dental Implants

There are several factors that need to be considered before a dentist can decide that you are a good candidate for dental implants. Dental implants are procedures that involve placing artificial teeth roots into the jaw.

Dentists consider the following factors to decide whether you are a good candidate for implants:

  1. Good oral hygiene: this includes whether your teeth are in good shape, brushed and flossed regularly and have no signs of deterioration. In order to be an ideal candidate for an implant, your gums should be free of periodontal disease.

  2. Space for implants:  The best candidates would have sufficient space in their jaws to anchor the implants in place. Candidate should have enough bone and strength to hold the implant in place. In case the patient has lost bone, he would require procedures to rebuild the bone; the process is carried out prior to the implants.

  3. Adolescents or adults: implants need not be performed on children since their jaws are still growing and they would replace their teeth. Placing implants would aggravate the growth of jaws or teeth. Therefore, candidates should reach a certain age to qualify for an implant – 17 for males and 15 for females.

  4. Severity of diseases: Your dentist would take into account the severity of disease before carrying out the implant.

  5. Dedication: Implant should not be taken lightly. Candidates should commit to maintaining their oral hygiene for a successful implant and to keep the teeth in good shape. This involves brushing especially before sleeping and after waking up, flossing daily and visiting the dentist semi-annually to get oral health evaluated.

Flossing is essential and should ideally be done before going to sleep and prior to brushing as it removes food particles that are stuck between the teeth, which then allows the toothpaste to get between the spaces of teeth and keep your mouth fresher.

After every meal, make it a habit to wash your mouth and gargle to dislodge any food particles that tend to linger between your teeth and could damage oral health. This also involves avoiding excessive consumption of sweets, caffeine, carbonated beverage and other food or drinks that are detrimental to oral health.  

  1. Smokers:  If you are a smoker, you may get rejected for an implant because smoking has a wide range of dental implications, such as: teeth discoloration, halitosis, plaque, tarter, risks of gum disease, tooth loss and oral cancer. Smoking reduces chances of healing in the mouth as gums get more prone to infections. Similarly, heavy drinkers or substance abusers may get refused because being addicts they would be less likely to take care of dental hygiene.

  2. Chronic diseases:  people with chronic diseases may get rejected due to low immunity and high risk of infections.

  3. Pregnancy: pregnant women are advised to wait until post-delivery because implants require taking medication. It is not safe to take excessive medication during pregnancy as it could cause disruptions.