Dental implants are a wonderful replacement option for missing teeth that looks and feels like natural teeth. However, not everyone is a good dental implant candidate. To be considered for dental implants, factors such as dental hygiene, lifestyle, and overall health need to be considered. Here are some factors that may increase the likelihood of poor outcomes with dental implants.
To be a good dental implants candidate, you should have enough bone to support and hold the implant. Even if you don't have enough bone, sometimes it can be rebuilt with a grafting procedure. Once placed, dental implants can actually prevent further bone loss.
Gums help support healthy bone and teeth. When a bacterial gum infection progresses to gum (periodontal) disease, it causes gum recession and bone tissue loss. Without enough healthy bone issue to support the dental implant, the risk of dental implant failure increases.
Patients who severely grind and clench their teeth may put too much pressure on the implant and damage it. Thus, these people may not be suitable candidates. Bruxism would need to be treated first, such as with a mouth guard, stretching and relaxation techniques, and/or therapeutic Botox®.
Uncontrolled Chronic Disorders
Patients with chronic conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease, may have an increased risk of infection and slow wound healing, which may compromise the success of dental implants. Other health issues that may increase the chances of implant failure include leukemia, bone cancer, thyroid problems, blood diseases, and if you are undergoing radiation therapy.
Since dental implant placement is a surgical procedure, heavy smokers have a higher risk of infection following surgery and may heal more slowly. Thus, when implants are placed in a smoker, they are more likely to fail.
Patients taking certain medications such as steroids or drugs that suppress the immune system may not be good candidates for dental implants. In addition, medications like SSRI antidepressants, antiobiotics (e.g. ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, norfloxacin), and bisphosphonates are linked to loss of bone mass and inhibit bone growth, making it harder for your body to incorporate dental implants.
Although these are the common risk factors, it's not an exhaustive list and dental implant candidacy needs to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. If you are interested in dental implants, schedule a consultation with us today to see if dental implants are right for you.
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