If you have lost one or more teeth, you may be considering your options for having the teeth replaced. One of the options you may be considering are dental implants. Implants have proven to be one of the best options on the market for permanent tooth replacement. Unfortunately, if you fall into several different categories, you may find out you are not a candidate for this procedure. The good news is, in most cases there is something you can do about this.
Why Are You Not A Candidate?
Dental implants are a serious surgical procedure. Unlike some of the other tooth replacement options available, the site where you will be having the implant will go through a process of healing, which can literally take months. The average time from the beginning of the procedure to the end of the procedure can be 5-8 months.
It can be even longer if you have to have additional procedures, or are having difficulty healing. Because of this, your doctor may not consider you for an implant if the following applies to you.
If you are smoker - Nicotine is a vasoconstrictor, or something that reduces the size of your blood vessels. This causes you to have a reduced blood supply to the site of your implant. The smaller vessels are unable to bring enough oxygen and nutrients in, as well as take toxins and waste out.
Smoking will often inhibit your ability to heal and increase the probability of implant failure. While there are patients who smoke and have successful implants, some dentists will choose not to take this risk.
To remove yourself from this category, you must stop smoking prior to having the procedure performed, and during your healing process. Just think, if you are able to go that long without smoking, you may be able to quit for good.
If you have untreated periodontal disease - If you are like many patients, periodontal or gum disease, may have been a contributing factor to you losing your teeth in the first place. Unfortunately, if it is not treated prior to attempting a dental implant, you will have a high probability of failure.
When you have periodontal disease, such as gingivitis, the bacterial infection irritates and inflames your gum tissues. Once it colonizes in the pockets surrounding your teeth and becomes periodontitis, it will move deeper into your connective tissues and your jawbone. If left untreated, it will continue to destroy both these tissues and the bone. This is the tissue and bone your body needs for your implant to be successful.
To be a candidate for dental implants, you should have any periodontal disease treated prior to attempting to have an implant performed. Once treated, you should maintain healthy teeth and gums with good oral hygiene.
If you have other untreated, or unmanaged health conditions - Dental implants involve major dental surgery. Just like with any other type of surgery, your dentist will want to ensure that you are physically able to tolerate the procedure, as well as any anesthesia or drugs which may be used during the surgery. If you have certain diseases, such as diabetes, various types of heart disease, or other conditions, you may not be a candidate for surgery.
Your dentist may reconsider if you are able to show that your disease is under control and managed through the medications you are taking. Even then, your dentist may ask you to be cleared by your medical doctor prior to proceeding. Remember, this is for your safety.
If you cannot afford the procedure - Dental implants are expensive. The actual cost of the implant is dependent several things. They are:
- The market you live in
- The dentist who will be performing the procedure
- Any initial test that must be performed
- The number of teeth implanted
- Any additional procedures you must have done
Based on these factors, the costs can range from several thousand dollars to tens of thousands. Unfortunately, all of these costs are often not covered by insurance. There are ways to help to lower the costs, as well as pay for your implants. Research these options, to see if one of them will work for you.
For more information, contact a local dental clinic, like Cary Dental Associates.