As a cosmetic dentist in Southampton we’re seeing more and more patients enquiring about dental implants to replace their missing teeth and one of the most commonly asked questions is whether anyone can have dental implants. Generally speaking any adult who has lost a tooth or teeth could be considered a possible candidate for a dental implant but whether or not it is a suitable option for them depends on a number of factors.
Dental implants aren’t for everyone which is why we ask patients to attend an initial consultation to meet Dr Thomas Darling and the team so that their case can be assessed and a decision made. A thorough oral examination will need to be carried out, medical history delved into, and X-rays taken to check for suitability. It also gives patients a chance to voice their concerns and get any questions answered before deciding whether to go ahead. We take candidate suitability very seriously since it can make all the different to implant success.
Oral surgery is required in order to place dental implants and just as with any type of surgery there are those who would not be suited to surgery. To be be considered eligible for dental implants a patient needs to have:
- Sufficient jawbone – Since a dental implant needs to fuse with the bone in the jaw, then it is essential that there is a good supply of healthy bone in that area. Failure to bond with the jaw in a process known as osseointegration is one of the main reasons for implant failure. If a patient doesn’t have sufficient bone then it may be possible to carry out a bone graft prior to surgery. If you’ve lost a tooth, then it’s important to replace it as soon as possible since the jawbone gradually starts to deteriorate following the loss of a tooth.
- No gum disease – Any dentist in Southampton will tell you that gum disease is deadly to teeth and is the main cause of tooth loss. It can also pose a high threat to dental implants and is often the cause of implant failure. Therefore, if a patient has gum disease then this will have to first be treated before dental implant surgery could be considered.
- Good overall health – Being fit and healthy will assure your dentist and oral surgeon that you can handle the treatment as well as any complications or risks associated with implant surgery. If you have a chronic illness such as diabetes or leukaemia or have undergone radiation treatment in the jaw or neck area, then you may not be considered suitable. Smokers too, may be asked to quit for several weeks prior to surgery and for the duration of the healing time, as smoking is known to interfere with the healing process.
If you’re interested in learning more about dental implants and whether they are for you, then why not contact Smilemakers, your local Southampton dental clinic, on 02380 442626 and book your free cosmetic consultation. Alternatively, you can find out more information on our website at www.smilemakers.co.uk