Who Is Not A Good Candidate For Dental Implants?

Nov 18, 2022
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Dental implants are the go-to replacement solution for missing teeth, but unfortunately, they're not for everyone. Read on to learn who qualifies for implants and who may not.

If you have damaged or decayed teeth, you may be thinking about dental implants, one of the most popular tooth replacement options around. They will restore your smile and self-confidence, prevent jawbone loss and allow for natural speech.

Implants are a permanent tooth replacement solution intended to be with you for the rest of your life. However, while almost anyone can get a dental implant, there are conditions where they may not be the best solution. 

Here are a few examples of the types of people who may not be good candidates for the procedure. 

People with certain medical conditions: People with diabetes are not forbidden from having dental implants but are at a much higher risk of complications and implant failure. This is because people with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes may take longer to heal from the procedure. Also, they´re at a greater risk of infections. Likewise, people with blood disorders are at a higher risk of complications.

People with some dental conditions: Ideally, dental implants should not be placed in a person suffering from periodontal disease. This is the name given to a set of inflammatory conditions affecting the tissues around the teeth. They can lead to jawbone loss and teeth falling out.

People undergoing radiation therapy: If you´re undergoing treatment that entails radiation around the jaw area, you shouldn’t have a dental implant procedure. Radiation kills cells and can weaken the jaw, conditions that are not ideal for an implant. 

Children and teenagers: The jaws of young people are still growing even into their late teens. Having an implant would interrupt normal jaw growth and may even impede the growth of adult teeth into their normal positions in the mouth.

Smokers: While being a smoker doesn´t necessarily rule you out from having a dental implant, you will be at a higher risk of complications. Tobacco products contain chemicals such as nicotine and hydrogen cyanide that stop the body from delivering adequate supplies of blood to the jaw. This hinders the body´s ability to heal properly. If a high risk of dental implant failure is likely, most dentists won´t perform the procedure.

People with poor oral hygiene: One of the biggest causes of tooth loss is poor oral hygiene and the diseases they cause. If you don´t have good oral hygiene or haven´t demonstrated a commitment to improving the situation, you may not qualify for the procedure. Implants are not affected by tooth decay and poor oral hygiene, but the tissues around implant sites can still fall victim to infections and disease if teeth aren´t brushed and flossed regularly.

Good oral health practices include:

  • Brushing your teeth for at least two minutes two times a day.
  • Brushing teeth after meals, especially in the evening.
  • Not eating or having hot drinks between brushing and bedtime.
  • Flossing your teeth at least once a day.
  • Using toothpaste that contains fluoride.
  • Rinsing with a good mouthwash.
  • Limiting snacks between meals.
  • Seeing a dentist regularly.

The elderly: Older people with missing or decayed teeth are ideal candidates for dental implants. However, the very elderly may not be suitable. People aged 85 and over tend to have more chronic illnesses than the rest of the population, which may interfere with healing. Additionally, the risks associated with surgery tend to be higher for older people. That being said, elderly patients in very good health with no issues that could negatively affect the implant procedure may be suitable candidates.

Pregnant women: There are several reasons why pregnant women are not suitable candidates for implants:

  • Anxiousness and higher stress levels due to having a surgical procedure may harm the baby.
  • You may need to have X-ray images taken of your jaw. While it may be safe to take X-ray images while you are carrying (provided protections are in place), it´s usually best to avoid them.
  • IV and oral sedation (if needed) may not be safe for the growing child.

If you need a dental implant while pregnant, it is best to wait until the second or third trimester. In any case, it´s a good idea to discuss the situation with your doctor and dentist.

People who drink a lot of alcohol: Alcoholic drinks can affect the blood´s ability to clot, which can cause complications during surgery. Therefore, if you are a heavy drinker, your dentist will ask you to quit or at least moderate your drinking.

People with a compromised immune system: When someone has a compromised immune system, it means their body can´t heal itself properly or fight off potential infections.

A dental implant procedure is a surgery, and therefore, the usual steps and precautions have to be taken to avoid complications. Even when these are in place, someone with a compromised immune system may pick up an infection.

So who are the ideal candidates for dental implants?

You are suitable for the procedure if you´re an adult who has the following:

  • Good oral health
  • Adequate jawbone available
  • Quit smoking
  • Good physical health

Replace Your Missing Teeth With Dental Implants At Chesterfield Dentistry

Missing teeth can compromise your oral health, overall health and lifestyle. But there´s no need to suffer. Having implants placed is a relatively straightforward procedure that can significantly boost your health and quality of life.

If you are thinking about dental implants and want to know if you´re a suitable candidate, please get in touch with the friendly and professional team at Chesterfield Dentistry. Contact us at (314) 936 3621 or make a booking online.


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