Dental Implant Candidates
By Kellyn Hodges on September 10, 2018
If you are missing teeth, it is important to restore your smile as soon as possible to prevent more serious issues from developing. Dental implants are the most successful teeth replacement option on the market, and are a suitable option for many patients.
At our Philadelphia, PA practice, Dr. Kellyn Hodges works with a highly trained team of oral surgeons who can perform implant placement. Here, we will discuss dental implant candidates and explain what factors can affect your eligibility for this treatment.
General Candidacy for Dental Implants
Patients considering dental implants should be in good general health and free of any medical conditions that could make oral surgery a potential risk. In addition, patients should not have gum disease and other oral infections that could hamper the success of treatment.
Dental implants can only be placed in patients who have stopped growing, as the jawbones must be fully developed. Generally, patients who are at least 18 and older are good dental implant candidates.
Dental Implant Candidates and Missing Teeth
Dental implants are versatile, and can be used to replace a single tooth, multiple teeth, or an entire dental arch. The type of treatment recommended for you will depend on how many teeth you are missing.
For example, if a patient missing a single tooth, we can correct the issue with a dental implant and a crown. Those with multiple missing teeth can consider implant-supported bridges or partials. Long-time denture-wearers can benefit from dental implants too, as they provide a sturdy foundation for a full-arch custom prosthesis.
Dental Implant Candidates and Bone Density
For long-term success and optimal oral health, dental implants must be completely surrounded by dense bone tissue. When a tooth is lost, the supporting jawbone begins to shrink, a process known as atrophy. This occurs slowly over time but can prevent patients from qualifying for dental implants.
Patients who have experienced bone deterioration as a result of tooth loss may still be eligible for dental implants after a bone grafting procedure. This treatment adds bone tissue to the areas of deficiency, increasing the volume and density of the supporting ridge.
Dental Implant Candidates and Sinus Location
If you need implants near the back of the upper jaw, scans and x-rays must be taken to determine the position of the maxillary sinuses.
When teeth are present in the jawbone, the roots support the sinus cavity. Once the teeth are removed, the sinus membrane could potentially drop down and invade the space where the implants should go.
In these cases, the upper jaw can be prepared for dental implants with a sinus lift. This oral surgery procedure gently lifts the sinus membrane and adds a bone graft underneath. When the sinuses are in the appropriate locations, dental implants can be safely placed.
Dental Implant Candidates and Lifestyle
Heavy alcohol consumption and tobacco use directly affects your body’s natural healing ability. Before undergoing dental implant surgery, patients must understand that abstinence from these lifestyle habits is essential, especially during the recovery period. Your doctor can help you determine what steps should be taken to increase your dental implant candidacy.
Contact Hodges Orthodontics for More Information
Gaps in your smile can not only detract from your appearance, they can have a negative impact on your chewing function and oral health. If you would like to learn more about dental implants, schedule a consultation at our practice. Give us a call or contact us online anytime.