Who Is a Candidate?

smiling woman at desk at Keith A. Boenning, DDS, Towson, MDAt Keith A. Boenning, DDS, you have several options available for replacing missing teeth. One of the most popular options today is dental implants. They are permanent and can be taken care of just like your natural teeth. The implants also help to preserve the strength of your jawbone, preventing bone loss. With a consultation, we can help you to determine if you are a candidate for dental implants.

Are You Missing Teeth?

Dental implants are just one of your available options for replacing missing teeth. The most obvious factor that makes you eligible for dental implants is that you are missing teeth. There are several different types of implants. They can be used to replace a single tooth, several consecutive teeth, or all of your teeth. Implants may also be discussed as an option to replace a tooth that is about to be extracted.

How Old Are You?

So many older tooth loss patients think that they are too old to enjoy the benefits of dental implants. In reality, you are never too old for implants, provided you meet other criteria. However, a tooth loss patient can be too young. Children and young teens who lose a permanent tooth are not eligible for dental implants. This is because the jaw of your child is constantly growing and changing. It will continue to do so until their late teen years. Placing a dental implant will only compromise the health of a developing jaw. If your child has lost a permanent tooth, other options will need to be considered.

Are You in Good Health?

Implants are surgically placed into your jawbone and require a lengthy healing period. For the implants to be successful, you need to be in good overall health. Gum disease needs to be treated. If you have a chronic health condition, such as diabetes, it needs to be under control before surgery. If you feel like you have a cold, fever or other health issue coming on, your surgical appointment will need to be rescheduled.

Do You Smoke?

Cigarettes contain thousands of harmful chemicals. Not only does it harm your lungs, but the habit can also significantly slow your ability to heal. Smoking lowers the amount of oxygen in your blood, and it slows your blood flow. Both of these issues prevent essential vitamins and nutrients from reaching your healing jawbone and gum tissue. This greatly increases your risk of developing an infection. Smoking can also increase your risk for dry socket, a condition in which the blood clot dislodges from the surgical site, leaving an open wound susceptible to bacteria. Ideally, quitting for good will provide you with the best chance for implant success.

Is Your Jawbone in Good Shape?

For implants to provide strong, stable support for your replacement teeth, they need to fuse with your jawbone. For fusion to be successful, you must have sufficient bone mass in your jaw. When you lose your teeth, your bone mass begins to deteriorate. The longer you go without replacing your teeth, the more bone mass is lost. However, just because you have lost bone mass, this does not mean you are ineligible for implants. You may need to consider options such as a bone graft or All-on-4 dental implants.

If you are interested in dental implants, call Keith A. Boenning, DDS today to find out if you are a candidate.
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