When you decide to replace a missing tooth in your mouth with a dental implant, you cannot just visit a dentist and have him or her put the implant in. There is a lot of analysis that takes place before the procedure ever begins, and this is completed to ensure that you are a good candidate for dental implants. As the dentist analyzes your mouth, he or she will base this decision on the following three factors.
Your Oral Health
To qualify for a dental implant, you must have a healthy mouth. This means that your mouth should not have signs of gum disease, oral decay, or any other types of problems. A dental implant requires a long healing process, and many types of tooth problems can interfere with the healing process. If the implant does not heal properly, it has a greater chance of failure.
It's important to know that dental implants have a high overall success rate. One study showed that implants offered a 98.4% success rate. This means that only approximately 1 implant out of every 100 is not successful. Of course, dentists take the time to ensure that people have healthy mouths before they will insert them.
The Jawbone Density
The second thing your dentist will do when analyzing your situation is take a good, deep look at your jawbone. Your jawbone is one of the most important aspects of a dental implant, but a dentist cannot see your jawbone just by looking inside your mouth. Because of this, the dentist will need to take x-rays of this area of your mouth. The x-rays show a lot of things, but the main thing the dentist will look at is the density of your jawbone where the implant would be fitted.
The density of the jawbone matters because the implant is placed in this bone. If the jawbone is not large enough, there is a higher risk that it will fail. An implant needs a lot of bone to hold and fuse in place.
You should realize that your jawbone density greatly relies on your teeth. As soon as a tooth falls out, the bone begins wearing away because it has nothing to stimulate the growth of new tissue. This is the reason you should not wait too long after losing a tooth to seek help from a dental implant dentist.
Your Overall Health
Finally, the dentist will analyze your overall health. He or she will ask you if you suffer from heart disease, diabetes, or any other major disease or illness. Diseases like these weaken a person's immune system, and this prevents a person's body from healing fast enough. If you have a disease that weakens your immune system, it could interfere with the implant. If you have a disease but keep it controlled well, you might still qualify for a dental implant.
Dental implants are costly, and dentists do not just insert them without doing the proper investigations of a person's mouth and health. This is one of the top reasons implants have such a high success rate, but there are a lot of other reasons that explain why dental implants are such a great option for tooth replacement for people with missing teeth.
Even if you currently do not meet the standards a dentist looks for during this process, you might still be able to get a dental implant down the road. You may need to go through a couple extra steps before you get the implant, but that is not uncommon. To learn more about dental implants, contact a dental implant clinic today.