If you’re missing a tooth, you may have considered a dental implant. Implants are a highly effective solution for restoring oral function as well as enhancing the aesthetics of one’s smile. In fact, they’ve become increasingly popular and have largely replaced the need for alternatives like dentures because of their natural appearance and the fact that they are so comfortable. There are, however, some factors to consider before undergoing dental implant surgery. Read on to find out if you’re a suitable candidate…
Your gums must be healthy
Healthy gums are a very important factor when it comes to a successful dental implant procedure. In fact, you won’t be able to undergo the surgery unless your mouth is free from gum disease, because the infection causes damage to the gums and jaw bone, and can increase the risk of implant failure considerably. If you do suffer from gum disease, we will advice you on the best treatment plan to resolve the problem before we go ahead with the implant surgery.
You must have enough jawbone
In order to be a suitable candidate for dental implant surgery, it’s essential that you have enough jaw bone, because the implant will need to actually fuse with your bone. If we find that you don’t have enough jaw bone, and that the risk of failure is great as a result, we may recommend a bone or soft tissue graft. Bone and soft tissue grafting are generally completed before the dental implant surgery, although in some cases it may be done at the same time. Bone grafts are typically taken from another area of the body, often from the jaw. The grafting procedure is completed under either general or local anaesthetic, depending on the case.
You shouldn’t smoke
Smoking can cause dental implant surgery to fail because it tends to slow down the body’s natural ability to heal by restricting adequate blood flow to the gums. We highly recommend that you stop smoking at least a week before your procedure, and that you don’t smoke for at least two months following the placement of your implant.
You should be in overall good health
Being generally healthy helps us to ensure that you will be able to handle the implant surgery, as well as any potential risks and complications that could arise as a result of the procedure. Being healthy will also aid your recovery following the procedure.
It’s also important to note that some medical conditions, such as diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis could increase the risk of implant failure. Any underlying health issue that slows down the body’s ability to heal could prevent the process of osseointegration, in which the implant fuses with your jaw bone. We’ll discuss any potential issues with you at your initial consultation and determine the best course of treatment, depending on your overall health.
Implants can significantly improve the appearance of one’s smile, but there are actually a number of health and functional benefits to replacing a missing tooth. To find out exactly what a dental implant is and how the implant procedure could help you, have a look here.
If you have a question about any of the procedures we perform, please get in touch with us. Our team of surgeons is dedicated to ensuring the very best care for each of our patients. Our surgeons are recognised as some of the best in their field, and are proud to achieve optimal results and provide friendly service.