Dental Implants: Can I get implant surgery?
Who can get dental implants?
A frequent question arises when people consider about dental implants, dentures or a dental bridge. This may be one of the following questions.
- Am I suitable for dental implants?
- Can I undergo an implant surgery? or
- How do I know whether I can or cannot undergo this treatment?
The simple answer is that in most cases, anyone with good health and healthy gums is eligible for a dental implant. In other words, if you can undergo a routine dental extraction or oral surgery, you can be considered for a dental implant. Dental implants may be right for you if you:
- Have a jawbone that’s reached full growth, this usually happens when you reach 18 years old.
- Have a set of healthy gums and enough bone to hold the implant.
- Have one or more missing teeth, broken teeth.
- Are unable or unwilling to wear dentures
- Are unable or unwilling to undergo dental bridge
- Want to improve your smile and speeches
- Are willing to commit to several months to the process
- Don’t smoke heavily
Who is not eligible for dental implants?
On the other hand, dental implants are probably not suitable for everybody. A certain health condition may affect the treatment. Therefore, people with any of the following health conditions should consult with a dentist before having an implant:
- Those under the age of 18, because the jaws are still growing
- Pregnant patients
- Heavy smokers or anyone suffering from uncontrolled chronic disorders – diabetes or heart disease
- Patients who have had radiation therapy to the head or neck
- People with osteoporosis or taking bisphosphonates for an extended period of time as a treatment for osteoporosis
- Patients with periodontitis or gum disease. In this case, additional dental treatment before undergoing dental implants is highly recommended
- Patient with leukemia, hyperthyroidism or thyrotoxicosis, and immunosuppressants or immunosuppressive agents
- Patients with schizophrenia or painful control of muscle contraction
You can make an initial self-evaluation from the aforementioned checklist whether you are suitable for this dental procedure. Alternatively, you can meet with dentists to discuss your possible surgery, they will review your medical history to ensure you can proceed with the surgery.
After the dentist initially determine you are a suitable candidate for a dental implant, you get to the next process of the preparation for the dental implant surgery. There is no special preparation for anyone with good physical health and healthy oral tissue. In some case, people under certain medications or drug allergy should inform these health circumstance to the dentist. In this preparation stage, the 3D image x-rays or dental CT scans are used to enable the dentists to customize the most effective treatment plan.
What are alternatives?
If you aren’t eligible for dental implants, your dentist may suggest alternative options of tooth replacement treatment that suits your condition.
- Dental bridge: A treatment of replacing tooth option using fixed prosthesis to either single or multiple teeth. Some bridges are done by placing crowns on the surrounding teeth, while others may be treated in different ways.
- Dentures: A removable replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissues. Two types of dentures are available — complete and partial dentures.