The short answer is: yes! One of the best benefits of dental implants is that almost everyone is a candidate for the procedure. Of course, the only way to know for sure is to schedule a consultation. Read on to see why you’re probably a candidate for dental implants. 

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Who Is a Candidate for Dental Implants?

Not everyone can get dental implants. There are actually three standards you have to meet to get dental implants. You must be:

  • Missing one or more teeth
  • An adult whose jaw has finished growing
  • Healthy enough for surgery

Dental implants are a procedure for tooth replacement. If you’re not missing one or more teeth, they’re not right for you. However, if your tooth is badly damaged or infected and needs to be extracted, we can do that as part of the same procedure. 

Dental implants are close to natural teeth, but they’re not exactly the same. One of the ways they’re different is how they interact with growing bone. It’s best to wait until your jaw has finished growing before getting dental implants. 

Although dental implant surgery is relatively minor, it is still surgery. We will evaluate your health and consult with your doctor if necessary to make sure you’re in good enough health for surgery. 

Candidates Who Need Special Care

On the other hand, some candidates have health conditions or other factors that can modify your dental implant procedure or aftercare. Here are some things we will check for before your implant procedure:

  • Gum disease
  • Bone loss
  • Smoking
  • Medications
  • Health conditions

One way that dental implants are like natural teeth is that they can be affected by gum disease. If you have gum disease, we might want to treat it before placing your dental implants. Waiting a little while now can help your dental implants last a lifetime. 

Dental implants depend on your bone for support. If you’ve had gum disease or if you lost your teeth years in the past, your jawbone might have been affected. We might need to do a bone graft to ensure there’s enough bone for your implants. Most bone grafts can be done when we place your implants, but some need to be done first. 

Smoking is linked to tooth loss, but it can also affect your dental implants. If you are a smoker, it is best to quit. At a minimum, we ask that you stop smoking for a while before and after your implant surgery. 

Some medications can impact your dental implants. Antidepressants and osteoporosis medications are among the more common medications that can increase the risk of complications. We will talk to you about your medications and their potential impact. Rarely, we might talk to your doctor about modifying the drugs you take. 

Some health conditions can also impact your dental implants. Anemia, certain bone disorders, and diabetes, for example, might affect your odds of success. Usually, they don’t stop you from getting implants, but we will talk to you about the potential impact. 

Talk to Us Today about Dental Implants in St. Louis

Are you considering dental implants? We can perform an evaluation to find out if you’re a candidate for this tooth replacement procedure. Please call (314) 375-5353 today for an appointment with an implant dentist at City Smiles.