The Top Reasons You Should NOT Get Dental Implants
Dental implants are a popular solution for replacing missing teeth, but they may not be the right option for everyone. In this article, we will explore the top reasons why dental implants might not be suitable for certain individuals. It’s essential to be well-informed before making any decisions about your dental health. Dr. Brett Langston, an experienced prosthodontist and the director of Dental Implant and Aesthetic Specialist in Brookhaven, Georgia, will guide us through these reasons. Let’s dive in and learn more.
Not a Good Candidate for Implants
To ensure the success of dental implants, two crucial factors come into play: a healthy patient with a healthy mouth and adequate bone. There are specific health concerns that may raise red flags for implants.
1. Uncontrolled Diabetes
One major concern is uncontrolled diabetes. When the body’s healing ability is compromised, the bone and the body may not form correctly around the implant. This lack of proper healing increases the chances of implant failure.
2. Bone Growth Medication
Another concern is the use of bone growth medication such as Fosamax or Boniva. These medications can impair the body’s ability to heal around the implant. While it is possible to work around this issue, it is crucial to discuss it with your dentist to ensure the best outcome.
Healthy Bone Is Essential
Besides overall health, the presence of healthy bone is vital for successful implant placement. Adequate bone quantity and thickness are essential for the implant’s stability and longevity.
Quantity and Thickness of Bone
The implant needs to be surrounded by bone circumferentially and have sufficient thickness. If the ridge is too thin, there is a risk of implant failure or even bone fracture. However, it’s important to note that bone grafting and augmentation procedures can be performed to address inadequate bone thickness.
Cone Beam Scan for Evaluation
To assess the quantity and quality of bone, a cone beam scan, a three-dimensional imaging technique, is often used. This scan allows the dentist to visualize the bone structure and plan the implant placement accurately. The virtual placement of the implant facilitates optimal success and aids in planning the restoration that will go on top of it.
Many people wonder about the age limits for dental implants. While there is no strict age cutoff, several factors come into play.
For younger patients, typically under 25 for males and under 21 for females, the main concern is the unpredictable growth of bone. Since the bone continues to grow after implant placement, it may lead to complications down the line. Adjusting the implant position in such cases requires invasive procedures that involve drilling away the surrounding bone. It is generally recommended to wait until the bone has fully grown before considering implants.
On the other end of the spectrum, there is no upper age limit for dental implants as long as the patient is healthy and has adequate bone. Successful implant cases have been reported in patients well into their 90s. Age should not be a deterrent if other criteria for implant candidacy are met.
Certain lifestyle factors can affect the success of dental implants and should be taken into consideration.
Smoking and Chewing Tobacco
Smoking can be detrimental to implant healing due to the heat generated and the disruption of blood clotting. The chemicals and carcinogens present in cigarettes and tobacco products can damage the mouth, hindering the implant’s ability to integrate successfully. However, smokers can work with their dentist to develop a cessation plan before undergoing implant surgery.
Poor Oral Hygiene
Maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial for the long-term success of dental implants. If a person neglects their oral care and does not keep the mouth clean, issues such as plaque buildup and bone loss can occur. Motivation to maintain excellent oral hygiene is essential for implant patients.
Evaluating Candidacy for Dental Implants
To determine if dental implants are suitable for you, a comprehensive evaluation process is necessary.
Cone Beam Scan
In Dr. Langston’s practice, every patient undergoes a cone beam scan. This three-dimensional imaging technique provides a holistic view of the mouth, allowing the dentist to assess the bone quality, adjacent teeth, and overall oral health. It helps plan the implant placement and ensures the best chances of success.
Additionally, an in-depth discussion between the patient and the dentist is crucial to understand the patient’s goals and expectations. Not every missing tooth requires an implant, and alternative options can be explored. By aligning the patient’s desires with the dentist’s recommendations, a personalized treatment plan can be created.
While dental implants are a remarkable solution for replacing missing teeth, they may not be suitable for everyone. Factors such as overall health, bone condition, age, lifestyle choices, and oral hygiene play a crucial role in determining implant candidacy. Consulting with an experienced prosthodontist like Dr. Brett Langston is essential to assess your suitability for dental implants and explore alternative treatments if necessary. Book a consultation to discuss your concerns and find the best plan for your oral health needs. Remember, informed decisions lead to better outcomes.