One of the most common dental issues we encounter with our adult patients at Diamond Dental is tooth loss. There are lots of options for tooth replacement, including complete or partial dentures, bridges, and dental implants.
Each of these options has its own benefits and drawbacks- but dental implants seem to have the most benefit out of all of them. However, there are also some eligibility requirements that must be met.
Find out are you eligible for dental implants? Simply schedule a consultation with the team at Diamond Dental. We have two locations to serve you- one in Bellingham and one in Mount Vernon. Dr. Senan Najar is our resident implantologist.
Benefits of Dental Implants
When you have missing or damaged teeth that need to be replaced, there are several options available. However, dental implants stand out above the rest because this solution offers many benefits that other options don’t, including:
Prevents bone loss
You’ve heard the saying that if you don’t use it, you lose it. Your tooth roots stimulate the jawbone to keep it healthy. Therefore, when you are missing teeth, that stimulation is lost, which means the jawbone will deteriorate. Dental implants act as the tooth root, providing stimulation and preventing bone loss.
Matches natural teeth
Dental implants are available in a variety of shapes/sizes. Our dental team will work with you to select the implants that match your remaining teeth. As long as you don’t tell everyone, only you and the dental team will know which teeth are implants and which are natural.
Restores natural bite force
Since dental implants are inserted into your jaw and act as a tooth root, you can bite with the same force that you can with natural teeth. Other tooth replacement options sit on top of your gums and don’t provide as much bite force.
Prevents changes in facial shape
Your teeth support your facial structure, providing a youthful appearance. However, when you are missing teeth, that support is lost, and your face begins to change shape. This makes you look older and impacts your confidence. implants provide similar support, keeping your natural facial shape.
Allows you to speak naturally
If you are missing one or more teeth, it can affect your ability to enunciate your words clearly. In addition, some replacement options can impact your ability to speak. However, since implants are inserted into the jawbone and are the most like natural teeth, you’re able to speak naturally and clearly.
Will not decay
While you do still need to care for your artificial teeth to avoid bacteria buildup, it is important to note that the materials that implants are made of will not decay. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about cavities in your implants.
Easy to maintain
Caring for and maintaining your dental implants is easy. Simply brush and floss like you would if you had natural teeth. You do not need any special products to clean/care for implants, such as special flossers, adhesives, cups, or cleansing tablets.
Will not slip around in your mouth
One of the biggest disadvantages of dentures is that they often slip and shift around in your mouth. This often causes patients to feel self-conscious when laughing, eating, or speaking. However, dental implants are inserted into the jawbone, which means this won’t be an issue.
Supports neighboring teeth
When you’re missing one or more teeth, the neighboring teeth will shift to fill in the gap- which results in misalignment. Dental implants fill in the gap, which allows you to maintain an even smile.
Finally, dental implants are a permanent solution. Other replacement options may need to be replaced or repaired occasionally. However, dental implants are designed to last a lifetime- with proper care and maintenance.
If you are missing one or more teeth and need a solution, schedule your consultation with the team at Diamond Dental today.
Eligibility Requirements for Dental Implants
When it comes to tooth replacement solutions, dental implants are the gold standard. In fact, they have a 95%+ success rate. However, it is important to note that not everyone qualifies. There are certain criteria that must be met in order to be eligible for dental implants:
Health of Gums and Jawbone
First of all, your gums and jawbone are very important when it comes to the success of your dental implants. The implant itself is inserted into the jawbone and the bone heals around it to secure it in place through a process known as osseointegration. If your jawbone is not dense enough to support the implant, the procedure will fail. We may be able to overcome this issue with a bone graft.
Your gum tissue also supports and protects the implant and provides a surface for the prosthetic to rest on. Another potential obstacle is gum degradation because this typically indicates periodontal disease. If you have periodontal disease, the risk of infection and implant failure increases, and you will continue to lose gum tissue unless it is addressed.
Age and Facial Development
Since implants require a firm foundation for success, future changes in the size or shape of your jaw can cause failure. Therefore, we typically will not do dental implant surgery on pediatric patients. However, this is determined on a case-by-case basis, after we analyze the development of the jaw.
We do not have an upper limit on age when it comes to dental implants. As long as your jaw is healthy and you do not have any major risk factors, we will place dental implants in our elderly patients.
During your consultation, let the team know about any medications you are currently taking, as some of them interact with anesthesia or cause negative side effects. For the week before your procedure, you will want to avoid NSAID pain relievers and aspirin. If you need a pain reliever during this time, acetaminophen is safe. This will reduce your risk of excessive bleeding.
Additional Risk Factors
There are several other health conditions and habits that could be considered risk factors for patients considering dental implants. Alcohol and tobacco use can impact the healing of bone and gum tissue. Smoking causes dry mouth and will increase your risk of infection and implant failure. You can reduce your risk of failure by abstaining from these and other recreational drugs.
Patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, and certain autoimmune conditions are at a higher risk of infection or implant failure. In addition, we may decline to do implant surgery on patients who have psychological or other conditions that make it difficult/impossible for them to care for the implants following surgery.
Schedule Your Consultation with Dr. Najar at Diamond Dental
Dental implant surgery is one of the safest types of oral surgery and most people will qualify- though it may mean making small changes in their lifestyle. If you’re considering implants to replace your missing teeth, schedule your consultation with the team at Diamond Dental today. We look forward to working with you and restoring your smile and confidence.
Dental Implant FAQs
When it comes to dental procedures, the team at Diamond Dental understand that you may have questions and concerns. We are here to address those for you. Some of the most common questions we hear are:
What makes you ineligible for dental implants?
There are several factors that could cause a person to not qualify for dental implants, including oral health, overall health, lifestyle choices, and more. During your consultation, we will discuss these factors and determine if any changes or additional procedures could address them.
What is the criteria for dental implants?
The criteria for dental implants are:
- Healthy gums/jawbone
- No underlying health conditions that could impact the success of implants
- Old enough that facial/jawbone changes are not likely
- Not be taking medications that could impact the surgery or healing
- Non-smoker or be willing to give it up, at least during the process
Who is not a candidate for dental implants?
There are certain patients who will not qualify for dental implants, including:
- Patients under the age of 18
- Patients with conditions that make it impossible for them to care for the implants following surgery
- Patients who have had radiation treatment
- Patients with uncontrolled diabetes
How much do dental implants cost?
On average, dental implants cost between $1,000 to $4,000. This depends on additional treatments and other factors.
Can you have dental implants with receding gums?
While receding gums can impact your eligibility for dental implants, it’s important to note that it is not a deal-breaker. You may still be able to get implants, as long as this issue is addressed first.