Who Is a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?

To be considered a good candidate for dental implants, patients at our Northampton, MA, practice should be in good overall health and have sufficient bone strength and density to support the implants. If a patient does not initially qualify, Dr. Teddi Olszewski may recommend a bone grafting procedure or alternative treatment to help improve your candidacy. Dental implants can provide patients with minor to severe tooth loss the opportunity of restored dental function, a more attractive smile, and improved self-confidence.

Types of Tooth Loss

Illustration of a dental implant in the jawbone.Dental implants are unique in that they can support a variety of restorations to replace missing teeth. Whether you have a single missing tooth, several missing teeth, or complete tooth loss, an implant-supported restoration can effectively restore your smile. At Northampton Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, we provide a number of implant-supported restorations, including a dental crown for a single missing tooth, dental bridges for tooth loss in an isolated part of the mouth, or partial and full dentures for patients missing most or all of their teeth.

To qualify for dental implants, it is important that certain requirements are met.

Factors that Determine Candidacy

To qualify for dental implants, it is important that certain requirements are met. These involve:

  • Bone Density: Sufficient bone density in the jaw is necessary to provide support for the implants to guarantee their longevity and durability.
  • Adequate Spacing: If the upper jaw has been weakened as a result of tooth loss, it can create inadequate spacing between the upper jawbone and sinuses.
  • Gum Health: It is imperative that you are free from tooth decay or periodontal disease (gum disease) since these issues can lead to dental implant failure.
  • Cigarette and Tobacco Use: Quitting smoking or the willingness to stop smoking during the osseointegration period is important. Tobacco products slow your body’s healing response and can result in dental implant failure.
  • Current Health Status: Good oral and physical health are necessary for success. Dr. Olszewski will review your medical history and current health status to ensure you are a good candidate for implants. Immune disorders, such as diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis, can hinder the body’s healing response and cause complications.
  • Commitment to Healthy Habits: Patients must be willing to commit to proper oral health habits and routine dental visits after dental implant surgery.

Treatments that Improve Candidacy

If gum disease or insufficient bone density is an issue, Dr. Olszewski may be able to improve your chances for candidacy with the following treatments:

  • Bone Grafting: During bone grafting treatment, bone tissue will be taken from another area of your body or harvested synthetically and inserted directly into your jawbone where the bone loss has occurred. Over a two to three month period, the harvested tissue will integrate with surrounding bone and strengthen the treatment area.
  • Sinus Lift: When bone loss has occurred in your upper jawbone or there is insufficient spacing, the same harvesting treatment performed with bone grafting can be used. During a sinus lift, the tissue will be inserted between your upper jawbone and sinus membrane, providing added support and protection.
  • Periodontal Disease Treatment: Depending on the severity of your symptoms, Dr. Olszewski can perform scaling and root planing to eliminate unhealthy bacteria. In more severe cases, gum surgery may be recommended to remove damaged tissue.

Schedule Your Consultation

If you are unsure whether you would make a good candidate for dental implants, we suggest scheduling a consultation with Dr. Olszewski for a complete evaluation. Send our office a message or call Northampton Family & Cosmetic Dentistry at (413) 584-2902. 

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