Am I a Candidate for Dental Implants?
Newport Beach, CA
Dental implants are a great tooth replacement solution for many patients, with some exceptions. Speak to our experts at Enamel General and Cosmetic Dentistry to find out if you are a good candidate for our dental implant options, and what you can do to increase your chances of dental implant success.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are typically made from titanium, a biocompatible metal that has been used in medical applications for decades. The implant looks like a small screw and it is embedded into the jawbone where it takes the place of a tooth root. Attached to the implant is a (replacement tooth).
The implant looks, feels, and acts exactly like a natural tooth, allowing patients to talk, eat, laugh, and smile exactly as if it was their own tooth. Dental implants are secure, stable, and with good care will last for years, if not a lifetime.
Whether you have one tooth missing, or all of them, there are several dental implant techniques that offer a solution. A single dental implant can replace one missing tooth, or if you have a tooth missing in several different areas of the mouth you can replace each of those teeth with an implant.
If you have three or more teeth missing in a row, they can be replaced with an implant-supported dental bridge. This requires an implant at each side of the gap, supporting a crown to “bridge” the gap. This is a secure, fixed option that will be color-matched to your other teeth.
When all of the teeth are missing in the top or bottom jaw, then The All-on-4® Treatment Concept can be carried out. This procedure is a fixed option that affixes a complete arch of teeth to four dental implants that are placed strategically across the jawbone to hold the teeth securely.
Another option for patients with missing teeth is an implant-supported denture. This is a removable option and the denture can be simply snapped in and out to aid cleaning. Unlike complete dentures that rely on suction to hold the dentures to the gums, which makes them unstable and liable to movement if the gums have shrunk, implant-supported dentures are held securely in place by the implants and do not accidentally slip, move, or fall out.
There are slightly different criteria for some of the implant procedures. For example, bone loss is not an option for single dental implants, but may be acceptable for the All-on-4. Some health conditions, such as hemophilia, may preclude you from having dental implants because of the risk of blood not clotting after the procedure. Although it is not dangerous to place implants during pregnancy, the radiation risk from x-rays should be avoided until after birth.
Smoking may increase the likelihood of implant failure. It decreases blood flow around the body, which diminishes oxygen and nutrients getting to cells which fight infection and heal the body, potentially causing your dental implant to fail.
It’s not unusual for people to question the viability of various medical procedures once they reach a certain age. And they aren’t entirely wrong. Age can impact the success rate and efficiency of some medical procedures or solutions. But thankfully, implants aren’t one of them. You’re never too old for dental implants. You can be too young for implants, but cannot be denied these dental restorations solely because of your old age. In other words, old age doesn’t make you an unideal candidate for dental implants.
Dental implants are not recommended in children because they have not stopped growing, but there is no upper age limit as long as you have good oral health as well as general health, and you maintain a strict oral hygiene regimen to maintain the health of your mouth and implants. To find out more about dental implants, get in touch with us at Enamel General and Cosmetic Dentistry by calling the office at 949-991-2499.