Dental implants are a great tooth replacement option for most people. But not all dentists see it that way. Many people are turned away by dentists who think they’re too big a risk to be given dental implants.
But we’re here to tell you that many of the common reasons for rejecting patients may not matter. You are likely a candidate for dental implants.
Osteoporosis and Medications
You might have been told that osteoporosis means your bones can’t support dental implants. That’s not necessarily true. Until we assess the density of your bones with a CT scan, we can’t say for sure whether you have enough bones or not.
Or maybe you were turned away because you’re taking osteoporosis medications. Studies have shown that, unless you’re getting a powerful form delivered intravenously, you’re probably safe from side effects.
If you’re a smoker, even a former smoker, your risk of dental implant failure is higher. That doesn’t mean you’re necessarily not a candidate, but it does mean that we have to be very clear about the risk of implant failure. If you’re prepared to take the risk and do what you can to reduce it, then you’re a reasonable candidate.
Gum disease is a serious consideration. It’s the most common cause of tooth loss–and dental implant failure, so if you lost your teeth to gum disease, we have to be very careful about dental implants.
But if you’re committed to periodontal care, including both home care and regular visits to our office, then gum disease won’t prohibit you from getting dental implants.
Diabetes and gum disease are closely linked, but there’s some dispute about whether diabetes is an independent risk factor for dental implant failure. Some studies show that diabetics may have only an 85% chance of implant success, compared to over 95% for nondiabetics. But more recent studies suggest that the failure rate may be no different between people with and without diabetes.
Because of factors like increasing risk of gum disease and loss of bone density, it’s often been thought that elderly patients weren’t good candidates for dental implants. But recent studies have shown that elderly patients are just as good of candidates as younger patients for dental implants.
Some people get told that they can’t get dental implants because they’ve had dentures too long. That’s because the longer you have dentures the more bone you’ll lose. While it’s true that you might not be able to get fully supporting dental implants if you’ve had dentures for a while, you can often get dental implants that will anchor your dentures.
Are You a Candidate?
Truthfully, the only way we can know for sure if you’re a good candidate for dental implants is to give you a new evaluation.