Am I a Candidate for Dental Implants?

If you’re missing one or more of your natural teeth, you’re not alone. It’s estimated that close to 80 million adults in the United States are missing at least one tooth, and about 40 million Americans have lost all of their teeth. 

Replacing missing teeth plays a key role in restoring function and preserving oral health. There’s a reason dental implants are considered the gold standard for tooth replacement.

Here at West End Dental, Dr. Lauren Izadi and Dr. Edward Kim offer compassionate dental care for the entire family. As part of our menu of services, we provide dental implants as a permanent solution for replacing missing teeth. If you’re missing one or more of your natural teeth, dental implants provide an excellent option.

Fortunately, most people are candidates for dental implants. Find out if that includes you – and remember, if you aren’t a candidate for a dental implant, our top-quality team offers other options to replace missing teeth.

Importance of jawbone health

Having enough healthy jawbone to support a dental implant is important. The process of getting a dental implant involves surgically placing a metal post into the jawbone. This post acts as a tooth root, providing solid support for the new “tooth.” Once it’s inserted, bone tissue heals tightly around the post. The healing process can take several months.

Because a strong jaw provides reinforcement that reduces the chances that the implant will loosen, people with good jawbone density are good candidates. However, even if you have inadequate bone due to oral health issues, we may be able to do a bone graft so that you can receive a dental implant.

Good oral hygiene a must

People who are dedicated to good oral hygiene are excellent candidates for dental implants. Good oral health and healthy gums provides the best conditions for dental implants. 

But if you have problems with your gums, you may still be a candidate for implants. Depending on your situation, we may suggest periodontal treatment to improve your oral health enough for a dental implant.

Smoking adversely impacts oral health

Smoking affects your oral health. It promotes plaque buildup, increases the risk of gum disease, and boosts the chances of tooth loss. Most importantly, smoking slows bone healing, raises the risk of complications, and compromises the success of an implant. This is why non-smokers are the best candidates for the procedure.

If you have good oral health but are a smoker, quitting smoking before the procedure improves the chances of being a candidate. It is recommended that you quit smoking at least two weeks before dental implant surgery and that you remain smoke-free for at least eight weeks after your procedure. 

Whether you will be a candidate depends on factors such as how long you’ve been smoking and how many cigarettes you typically smoke per day. We can discuss this in detail and evaluate your overall oral health to determine if you’re a candidate for dental implants.

Dental implants are an excellent solution for replacing missing teeth and restoring your smile. To learn more, call our office to schedule a consultation with one of our top-quality dental specialists at our office in Washington, DC. You can also request an appointment here on our website.

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