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Dental Implants – Am I A Candidate?

dental implant candidateDental implants are the closest replacements that mimic our natural teeth. They copy natural teeth appearance, function and the ability to be embedded in bone to ensure favourable anchorage.

But is dental implant indicted for everybody?

The most basic indication for having a dental implant is the absence of a tooth. It can also be used for replacing multiple missing teeth or even replace all missing teeth for either of your upper or lower jaw. But the criterion does not end here.

Two of the most important considerations for dental implant placement are the remaining bone and the general health of the patient.

Like your natural teeth, the dental implant will be supported by the bone that remains after the natural tooth is lost. If the bone height is low, the implant will not have the proper anchorage needed to stay in place. The usual reason for gradual decrease of bone height is the loss of the tooth that used to be on that particular area.  In its absence, there is no reason for the bone to continue maintaining its height because it has nothing to support anymore.

Smoking is also contraindicated for dental implants as this delay healing and plays a role in the progression and severity of advanced gum diseases. Diabetes (especially if it is uncontrolled) can also contribute to gum disease and promote the occurrence of the implant specific gum condition called peri-implantitis.

Other diseases (osteoporosis), treatments (like cancer/radiation therapy), medications (bisphosphonate drugs) that affect the integrity of our bones might also contraindicate placement of dental implants because these can greatly increase the chances of implant failure.

In terms of age, there is no definite maximum or minimum age requirement for dental implants. As long as you are able to go through a minor oral surgery and have healthy jaw bones and gums, you are set to go. Some exceptions are of course present and depending on your medical and dental history, your dentist can discuss if this treatment is ultimately right for you.