Who is a Candidate for Dental Implants?

For patients with one or more missing teeth, dental implants are considered one of the best solutions for their tooth loss. This restorative dental procedure replaces missing teeth, renewing patients’ smiles with teeth that look, feel and function just like natural teeth.

With the advances in implant dentistry, most patients can benefit from this dental care option today more than ever before, but is it right for you?

What Factors Determine Who is a Candidate for Dental Implants? 

When determining if someone is a good candidate for dental implants, it is easy to believe it’s as simple as ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ but through our years of experience, we can tell you candidacy isn’t as straightforward as it seems. 

There are a few different aspects of dental implants that patients may want to take into consideration, and they can be broken down into three main questions:

Can Dental Implants Work for Your Other Dental Issues? 

Suffering from tooth loss alone does not make someone a great candidate for dental implants. At Dentist of Cerritos, we find that our patients have a range of issues and concerns, which is why we offer multiple tooth replacement services. 

The question here is about figuring out if dental implants are the best tooth replacement procedure for you, as opposed to dentures or dental bridges.

Has Your Tooth Loss Made Eating or Speaking More Difficult? 

Severe tooth loss can result in speech and eating difficulties. A dental implant fills the space of a missing tooth, instantly providing surrounding teeth with structure. By keeping each tooth in its proper place, patients with dental implants get a healthier bite and improved jaw alignment. 

Tooth replacement alternatives, like dentures, don’t exactly help with these kinds of issues, but dental implants provide tooth functionality that works wonders.

Are You Looking for a Permanent Solution for Your Tooth Loss?

Unlike other restorative tooth options, a dental implant doesn’t just replace your missing tooth, it replaces the tooth root as well. By placing an artificial root inside of the jawbone, your replacement tooth is attached to a strong, permanent foundation. 

Since dental implants are permanently attached to the mouth, patients do not worry about their teeth moving around inside their mouths, needing to be removed for cleaning or falling out when they chew hard or sticky food. 

With proper care, dental implants will last for a long time. In fact, they are designed to last a lifetime. While other tooth-replacement dental procedures act more as a cover up for tooth loss, dental implants take care of it for good. 

Do You Have a Tendency to Get Cavities?

Dental implants are synthetic and are not susceptible to the same kind of damage as a natural tooth, rendering plaque, bacteria and tartar basically harmless (daily brushing and flossing is still essential). 

If you tend to get cavities all the time and have lost many teeth because of it, dental implants can help a lot. This benefit is a reason many patients choose dental implants.

Do You Wear Dentures that Cause Discomfort?

Dentures are known for the irritation they can sometimes cause, like sores and dry mouth. If the fit of your dentures never feels quite right or comfortable, dental implants can give your teeth more stability and your mouth more comfort. 

How Does Your Health Factor into Dental Implant Candidacy? 

Because dental implant placement is a surgical procedure, dentists must thoroughly examine a patient’s current oral health to determine if they can heal properly.

Are Your Gums Healthy Enough for a Dental Implant?

Your gums play a large role in the implant procedure – a cut in the gums is essential for placing the metal implant – which is why their health is crucial. 

Patients with unhealthy gums are not set up for success. Existing infections in the gums can increase the time it takes to recover and reduce the procedure’s overall success rate.

This means that patients with periodontal disease or gingivitis may not be ideal candidates for a dental implant at the moment. At Dentist of Cerritos, when we identify gum disease symptoms, we discuss a treatment plan to address it first before beginning a dental implant procedure. 

Why is Sufficient Jawbone Necessary for a Dental Implant?

A dental implant is anchored into the jawbone and must successfully fuse with it. The jawbone is essentially acting as the root for both the artificial tooth and abutment. 

Without enough jawbone, it can’t provide the implant with enough support. When there is a healthy amount of jawbone to provide the proper support, it is more likely than not that a dental implant will remain firmly in place and readily fuse with the jawbone. 

Will You Take Care of Your Dental Implants? 

Dental implants are constructed to last a long time, but they still require care. Conveniently, however, they don’t need anything too special, and can simply be cleaned by brushing twice a day and flossing at least once – the same as natural teeth. 

Before making a final decision on implants, patients should consider the maintenance required to keep their dental work looking good and lasting as long as possible. 

Is Your Oral Health & Hygiene in Good Shape?

Patients with great oral health and habits before a dental implant procedure tend to be devoted to the care of their oral hygiene after. 

You’ll need to keep your daily dental care routine and pay special attention to the surrounding gums of your dental implants. The implant cannot get cavities, but your gums can become infected if you neglect brushing and flossing. 

Do You Smoke? 

Smoking and tobacco can keep your mouth from healing and reduce the chances of a successful implant procedure. For those who are considering dental implants, it is recommended that you quit smoking to maintain your oral health.

Do You Grind Your Teeth?

Bruxism is the clenching and grinding of teeth, especially while sleeping. This puts a lot of pressure on teeth. In the case of dental implants, too much pressure on them could cause them to fail. 

Patients with bruxism should ask their dentist about a mouthguard. Our office creates custom guards that are designed for comfort while protecting your teeth.

Can Dental Implants Help You Reclaim Your Smile? 

Dental implants improve the look, feel and function of a smile, and are extremely successful in a wide range of cases. Contact us at (562) 414-5064 today to schedule an appointment and find out if dental implants are right for you too!

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