Are You A Candidate For Dental Implants?

Posted on: 7 January 2015

Dental implants are a common restorative dental option for those who have lost permanent teeth as a result of trauma or decay. Specifically, the process of getting a dental implant involves having a metal post (known as an abutment) inserted into the jaw bone and topped with an artificial tooth. Because dental implants are a permanent solution and have a similar look and feel as a real tooth, they're an appealing option to those who are viable candidates. Unfortunately, not everybody is a good candidate for dental implants; the best way to find out whether you are is to see a dentist, such as Glenn L. Sperbeck DDS Inc. During your dental visit, however, there are some things you'll need to disclose.

Progressed Periodontal Disease

First of all, if you've ever been diagnosed with periodontal disease, you'll need to disclose this to your dentist--though he or she will likely already know. Periodontal disease involves the spread of a bacterial infection that spreads to the jaw bone and leads to deterioration of the bone itself. Because dental implants require the fusing of the abutment into the bone, those with progressed periodontal disease (high amounts of bone loss) may not be viable candidates for dental implants.

Heavy Smoking Habits

Another thing you'll want to disclose to your dentist when having a consultation regarding the possibility of dental implants is whether or not you're a heavy smoker. If you smoke, this doesn't automatically mean you'll be denied as a candidate for dental implants. However, those who smoke heavily are generally at a much greater risk of developing a serious infection after the implant surgery is completed. And while there are antibiotics that your dentist can prescribe you that may limit the chances of an infection, the fact remains that if you're a chain smoker, your dentist will likely want to avoid the risk and seek out alternatives to implants instead.

Uncontrolled Diabetes

Finally, be sure to let your dentist know if you're diabetic; after all, people with diabetes typically take a much longer time to heal from surgeries. As a result, you may have a greater chance of developing an infection after your dental implants than a non-diabetic patient and are also at a greater risk of developing periodontal disease. So while having diabetes isn't necessarily going to disqualify you from being able to get dental implants, it's definitely something you'll want to speak to your dentist extensively about ahead of time.