One of the best options to deal with missing teeth is getting dental implants. Implant dentistry involves the surgical placement of artificial tooth roots. Once the dental implants have been properly integrated with the jawbone and soft tissues, they will be sturdy enough to support a dental bridge, a denture, or individual dental crowns. While dental implants have an impressive success rate of 95%, not everyone is a good candidate for dental implants. Let’s take a moment to look at who the ideal candidates for dental implants are.
The best candidates for dental implants are patients who are missing a tooth or multiple teeth and are in generally good health. These candidates should have sufficient bone density in the jaw and sufficient gum tissue, both of which are important for supporting the dental implants.
Patients with health conditions that may prevent them from undergoing any sort of surgery are NOT good candidates for dental implants. In addition, young patients whose jawbones have not fully developed will NOT be eligible for dental implants until they are older and have finished growing.
If a patient does not have sufficient bone density in the jaw due to bone loss or sufficient gum tissue due to gum recession, there are two potential treatments that may still allow them to get dental implants. These treatments are bone grafting and soft tissue augmentation.
A bone grafting surgery will involve the use of bone from another part of the body (often the hip) which is surgically grafted to the jaw in order to build up bone density. In some cases, synthetic bone can be used rather than donor bone.
Soft tissue augmentation is similar to bone grafting in some ways. In this procedure, soft tissue is taken from the palette (the roof of the mouth) and placed in the area in which the gums have receded. This will build up the gumline in that area.
Candidacy for both or either of these treatments will need to be discussed with your dentist or a prosthodontist as a number of factors must be considered. Also keep in mind that undergoing these treatments will add an additional step to the implant dentistry process.
If a patient is not a good candidate for dental implants and is not eligible for bone grafting and gum augmentation, it’s likely that they will simply receive removable dental restorations. That said, always remember that your dentist will work diligently to find the best possible solution for you regardless your candidacy for dental implants.
Dr. Jeffery C. Platt
2465 Research Pkwy #100
Colorado Springs, CO
Monday: 7AM – 4PM
Tuesday: 7AM – 3PM
Wednesday: 7AM – 4PM
Thursday: 7AM – 3PM