Are you looking for the best way to replace your missing teeth? When your natural teeth fail, it helps to have something that looks and feels almost like the real thing. Dental implants are usually the best answer! But not everyone is a candidate for dental implants. There are certain oral health criteria to meet. Thankfully, even if you’ve been told that you don’t qualify for a dental implant, options like bone grafting still allow for sufficient bone density.
Here are the most important criteria you’ll need to meet before getting dental implants.
You Have Missing Teeth
The first requirement to get a dental implant is if you have one or more teeth that are missing. Typically, we try to preserve natural teeth whenever possible. But at times, an extraction is inevitable. Or maybe there was past trauma, resulting in tooth loss. Whatever the reason for lost teeth, your best solution is with dental implants.
Traditionally, people turned to fixed bridges or partial dentures. But the high dental implant success rate and their minimally invasive nature make them superior to other conventional restorative options. Whether you have one missing tooth or multiple missing teeth, the implant procedure can be tailored to your circumstances.
Rarely do we recommend extracting perfectly healthy teeth just to place dental implants. However, there may be circumstances that warrant therapeutic tooth removal, such as when there is extensive bone loss, trauma, abscesses, or periodontal disease.
If you’ve gone several years without teeth, there’s a good chance that the bone in your jaw has resorbed (shrunk). Wearing a denture could make the bone loss even worse. Ridge augmentation or grafting could help counteract those scenarios, making implant therapy a viable option.
No Active Periodontal Disease
Healthy gum tissues are essential whenever you’re planning implant surgery. If you have active periodontal disease (gum disease) it could interfere with the healing process or integration with the healthy jawbone. So, gum health must be stable before any replacement teeth are installed.
Symptoms of gum disease include bleeding gums, bad breath, tartar buildup, and gum recession. Although implants don’t get cavities the way your other teeth do, they’re still susceptible to gum infections. If peri-implantitis (the implant form of gum disease) develops, it can cause complete failure of your implant investment.
Thankfully with good lifestyle habits and professional care, it’s possible to stop gum disease and prevent it from spreading. Once your tissues are stable and good gum health is achieved, you can take the first steps in planning your implant surgery.
Periodontitis doesn’t just affect your smile. It can also raise your risk of heart disease, stroke, pneumonia, reproductive health complications, diabetes, and other issues.
Good Overall Wellness AND Oral Health
Good oral health habits are key if you’re planning to get dental implants. Since gum infections and bone loss could put your implants at risk, you want to clean them the same way you would natural teeth. A typical oral hygiene routine will include:
- Brushing around your dental implants twice a day.
- Flossing them at least once daily.
- Scheduling professional dental cleanings at least once every six months.
Additionally, we’ll want to review your health history before your implant surgery. Since specific medical conditions, recent hospitalizations, or particular prescription medications can interfere with implant placement, please be sure to share all of that information during your initial consultation. Placing dental implants is extremely safe and predictable, as long as the appropriate health conditions are met.
Even if you think a co-existing medical condition doesn’t have anything to do with your smile, it’s still important for you to review that information with our Kansas City implant dentist.
Know Your Other Tooth Replacement Options
Depending on if we’re going to replace lost teeth across your entire jaw or just one dental implant, the treatment you need is different for each one. There are more than just 2-3 options when it comes to getting dental implants. Such as single tooth implants, multi-tooth implant bridges, All-on-4/All-on-6, and zygomatic dental implants.
And remember, if sinus augmentation or getting a bone graft isn’t an option, you still have the choice to wear dentures. Our Leawood dentist may even be able to use a couple of implants to help stabilize your dentures, for improved comfort and security throughout the day.
Varying types of dentures and partial dentures are still appropriate when replacing missing teeth, especially if implants are not an option. Or if you’re waiting to get dental implants at a later point in time.
One of the things that make our Leawood implant office unique, is we make sure you have all of the information you need about your smile’s specific circumstances. If we truly feel that there are other options available—or choices that would be a better fit—we will be upfront with you about that. After you have all of the information you need, you can help us to co-plan your care process and decide whether implants or another solution is best for you.
Work with an Experienced Implant Dentistry Provider
Whenever you’re planning to undergo an implant procedure, you need to make sure you’ve chosen the best dentist for the treatment. Anyone who is not a candidate for dental implants will receive guidance toward other alternatives. Such as a partial denture, full denture, or even implant-supported overdentures. If your lower jaw is too thin, ridge modification could improve the fit of traditional dentures or make it possible to perform another restorative procedure. The bottom line is, your dental office needs to have the experience and technology necessary for the oral surgery techniques needed.
Leawood Dental Implants
Find out if you’re a candidate for dental implants by meeting with our experienced implant provider, Dr. Gordon. We’ll discuss your tooth replacement options, whether or not you’re a good candidate for dental implants, and if a different type of dental implant procedure can offer what you’re looking for. Contact us today to get started. Flexible payment options are always available.