Trying to decide whether dental implants are right for you? 20 years ago, the selection process for implant patients was extremely strict. Just one or two underlying issues would eliminate candidates. But thanks to advancements in modern implant therapy, changes in implant designs, and extensive research, more people qualify for dental implants than ever before.
What does a modern Mesa dental implant candidate look like?
1. Someone Who Needs to Have a Tooth Extracted (or an Already Missing Tooth)
The traditional dental implant is most frequently used for replacing individual missing teeth. The functional “root” design sets into the same area as the previous tooth, supporting a porcelain crown. Instead of bridges, which rely on adjacent teeth for support, implants provide a non-invasive option that fills in your smile. Anyone who needs to have a tooth extracted will want to plan on a timely replacement, being that the extra space in their mouth can negatively impact the alignment of your overall smile. It’s sometimes possible to begin your implant treatment immediately after your tooth is extracted. Waiting too long to replace it could mean that adjacent teeth drift inward, limiting the space available. Plan to replace your tooth with an implant as quickly as possible to avoid negative side effects.
2. Someone Looking Into Dentures
Implants are excellent for full mouth reconstruction. In lieu of wearing a removable denture, we can use as few as four implants total to anchor a full-arch prosthesis. Think of it like an extended dental bridge that follows the contour of your smile. Instead of placing an individual implant and crown at the location of each missing tooth, we strategically place 4-6 implants in that arch to anchor the hybrid appliance. A lot of people refer to these treatments as “All-on-4” or even “Teeth-in-a-Day” depending on how the procedure is completed and the timeline involved. The best part: full arch implants are more comfortable to eat and speak with than a larger “plate” that rests across the roof of your mouth.
3. Someone Who is Struggling with Their Denture
You might think that since you’re already in dentures, dental implants aren’t applicable. But a lot of people come to consider implants after struggling with their dentures. Although the treatment process can be a little different, implants and dentures often pair together nicely for someone looking for added support and stability in their prosthesis. Depending on your situation, a few strategically placed implants can act as an anchor for your removable plate. Your denture simply “snaps” into place throughout the day, eliminating the need for a messy adhesive. Not everyone qualifies for overdentures or implant stabilized dentures, so you’ll need to work closely with an experienced provider.
4. An Adult (of Any Age!)
As long as your mouth and facial anatomy are fully developed, dental implants are an option. Typically, that means a candidate will be at least 17 or 18 years of age. But what about more mature adults or recent retirees who want to rehabilitate their bite? Is there an age cutoff? Absolutely not! Thanks to access to routine preventative care, today’s seniors tend to be excellent candidates for dental implants, regardless of their age.
5. Someone with Mild to Moderate Bone Loss
It used to be that anyone with bone loss (which is a common side effect of tooth loss or periodontal disease) didn’t qualify for dental implants. Fortunately, things like bone grafting and changes in implant design helped to change that. Today it’s possible to perform bone augmentation or place implants in a manner that accommodate areas of bone loss, on a case by case basis.
6. Someone Without Major Underlying Medical Concerns
Part of the implant screening process will be a thorough health history review. It’s crucial that you bring a list of any medications or supplements that you’re taking and make note of recent surgeries or hospitalizations. Even if it’s something related to another part of your body, it’s vital that we know about it. There are particular conditions or medications that may impact the outcome of your implant procedure (and vice versa.) If necessary, our Mesa implant dentist will work with your personal physician or specialist to achieve the necessary clearance.
Dental Implants in Mesa
Eastport Dental offers customized dental implant therapies for people of all ages and backgrounds. If you’ve ever wondered “Am I a candidate for dental implants” or thought that you didn’t qualify, it’s time to meet with Dr. Huynh. We’ll be glad to walk you through the screening process to determine what’s possible. Call our Mesa dental implant office today!