What are Dental Implants?
The first step towards restoring your smile is to understand dental implants. Implants are rods of medical-grade titanium that are surgically inserted into the jaw to provide an anchor for prosthetic replacement teeth. Stable and permanent, they are a popular and effective long-term solution for people with missing or failing teeth. They look, feel and function like real teeth: no slipping, clacking, or messy adhesives. Implant placement is permanent and should last the rest of your life.
Am I a Good Candidate?
Ideally, candidates for dental implants are in good oral health, have adequate bone density, and no chronic conditions that will prevent healing.
Gum health: It is especially important that candidates have healthy gum tissue. Dental implants are in direct contact with the gums, so it is imperative you have good oral hygiene to keep your gums free of periodontal disease.
Jaw health: Because the titanium rods will be surgically implanted into your jaw, it is important that you have enough bone density to support those anchors. However, dental implants are actually recommended for many people who already have some bone loss in their jaw, because the healing process around the rods actually prevents further bone loss. You also must be old enough that your jaw has stopped growing. This usually occurs by age 20 but varies from person to person.
Chronic conditions: People with chronic conditions such as diabetes or cancer, alcoholism, tobacco use or a history of radiation to the face are also considered less ideal candidates for dental implants. For these people, healing may be impaired, resulting in a higher rate of implant failure. The risk of infection and bone death - called osteonecrosis (OSS-tee-oh-neh-CROW-sis) – is also increased in these populations.
Time: Dental implants take time; usually months before the final replacement teeth are attached. People who are unable or unwilling to wait may benefit from related procedures, such as Teeth in a Day or All on Four dental implants.
I Am Not a Perfect Candidate. Now what?
Luckily, you don’t have to be a perfect candidate to qualify for dental implants. In fact, most people can get the procedure with a little extra preparation. We may ask that you spend a few months focusing on improving your oral hygiene, or ask you to quit smoking. We may even suggest a bone graft if your bone density is too low. Even if you are not the perfect candidate, we will work with you to find a solution for you.
Dental implants are a safe, effective and popular way to replace missing or failing teeth. No matter what your condition, the experts at Artistic Smiles will find a way to meet your needs. Call us at to book a consultation today!