Although tooth loss isn’t the inevitability, it was in years past when it was assumed that pretty much everyone lost their teeth by the time they reached their 60s or 70s. Tooth loss still affects millions of Americans. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control report that nearly 25 percent of Americans over the age of 65 have no remaining natural teeth.
Dental implant dentures – an innovative tooth replacement featuring a full denture plate secured to the jaw via small, titanium posts – are swiftly becoming the go-to solution for people who have lost all of their teeth, as well as those who face losing their teeth to extensive tooth decay or gum disease. However, before your implant dentist recommends this procedure for you, both of you will need to address several important concerns.
Three Factors that Impact Dental Implant Candidacy
Your Oral Health
Many patients who receive dental implant dentures do so because their remaining natural teeth are painful, infected, or damaged to the point that they don’t function properly. Extracting unhealthy teeth is often the first stage of receiving implant dentures.
In addition, your dentist will want to make sure that your jawbone is healthy and robust enough to support implants. If you have a weakened jaw, a bone graft can help regenerate stronger bone tissue to support the implant posts.
Your Overall Health
Patients who live with certain chronic conditions including diabetes, arthritis, or autoimmune disorders run a higher risk for dental implant failure. Because of this, some dentists choose not to rely on implants for at-risk patients. However, as implant technology progresses, more and more people are able to qualify for dental implant dentures.
Smokers and chewers are strongly discouraged from receiving dental implants because compounds in tobacco restrict blood flow, and retard proper healing. This dramatically increases the risk for dental implant failure. However, patients who commit to quitting, and are able to successfully kick the habit, can usually qualify for the procedure.
The Bottom Line
Ultimately, you should trust the advice of your family dentist when it comes to considering dental implant dentures. As your regular dental health care provider, he or she is fully aware of your oral health and overall health condition. Your dentist will only recommend dental implant dentures if they feel confident that the procedure will be a success.