Am I suitable for a dental implant?
Your suitability for a dental implant will be decided by your dentist. He or she will ask you about your lifestyle as well as your reasons for an implant.
The dentist will check your teeth and carry out other diagnostics such as an x-ray and/or CAT scan. This will enable him/her to assess the condition of your teeth and more importantly, your jaw.
The reason for this is that you need to have enough bone density to hold an implant in place. Bone loss tends to happen when a missing tooth is not replaced or as result of the ageing process. If this is the case you will require a bone graft to build up your thin jawbone.
If you teeth are in poor condition or you are suffering from gum disease (periodontal disease), bad breath or an abscess then these will have to be treated before implant treatment.
Other possible exclusions include:
Smoking: if you are a heavy smoker then your dentist will advise you to put this on hold or stop altogether. The reason for this is that smoking slows the healing process.
Alcohol: the same applies here. Excessive alcohol intake can affect the healing of the gums.
Bruxism: also known as ‘teeth grinding’. If you have a tendency to grind your teeth (usually caused by stress) then your dentist will give you a ‘splint’ which can be worn at night. This will prevent further damage to your teeth.
Auto-immune diseases: if you are suffering from a disease of the immune system or are undergoing chemotherapy then your dentist may advise against implant treatment.
Pregnancy or breastfeeding
Diabetes or hypertension (high blood pressure)
Basically, if you are healthy and are prepared to follow a dental hygiene routine then you will be considered for an implant.