Am I A Candidate for Dental Implants?
Dental implants are an excellent solution to improving a patient’s smile with artificial teeth. These not only provide support for lost facial structure due to tooth loss but also help a patient’s self-esteem when smiling, talking, or eating. Patients who are considering dental implants as a viable option to improve their smile should come see us at Malmquist Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery so we can do an in-depth evaluation and discuss dental implant options with you. We provide single tooth replacements as well as multiple tooth replacements.
Who is a Good Candidate?
Not all patients will be approved for dental implants. Placing implants involves inserting the appliance directly into the bone tissue of the jaw. A process called osseointegration occurs, where the implant fuses with the bone. If the patient has a significant amount of bone loss, however, which would not be strong enough to support the implant, we would not recommend the procedure. However, after receiving a bone graft, the patient would likely be a candidate for dental implants later on. If the jawbone was intact and capable of supporting the implant, our team would then look at the gums.
Even with healthy bone, if the patient has advanced gum disease or other potential infections of the soft underlying tissues, we would not proceed without treating them first. Healthy gum tissue is vital not only to a successful procedure but for proper healing following the surgery. If the patient has gum disease, it could easily slow the healing and recovery process and potentially cause other complications.
Good Oral Hygiene Is Key
Good oral hygiene includes the brushing and flossing routines which the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends patients do twice a day. This is even more important once the implant has been placed. Practicing proper brushing and flossing will fight against bacteria buildup which can cause issues with the dental implants. Patients should also gently rinse with mouthwash twice a day. Other keys include professional cleanings twice a year and proper dental exams to ensure a high level of oral hygiene. It is important to maintain good oral health especially following the implant placement.
Other Health Concerns
Complications can arise when considering dental implants if the patient has other serious health issues. Although it doesn’t preclude them from the procedure, it does mean alternative solutions may have to be considered.
During the initial consultation, our office will do a complete medical history of the patient so we can address any health concerns and determine if dental implants are a good option. Heart conditions, past oral cancer, and diabetes are all health problems which complicate implant placement. There are other health issues to be considered when planning this procedure too. If the patient is a heavy smoker or has advanced gum disease, or if the patient is female and in menopause, dental implants might not be a viable solution. It is possible, if the patient receives treatment for those conditions, that our team can reconsider the implant surgery.
When our patients are considering getting a dental implant, here at Malmquist Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery we are more than happy to provide a full consultation to determine if implants are the right option for your situation. If there are additional health concerns, we can discuss those as well. Dental implants have returned full, natural smiles to many of our patients. If you are interested in finding out more, do not hesitate to call us today at (503) 446-6776.