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older man in white t-shirt brushing his teeth to become dental implant candidate

Missing even one tooth can really take a toll on your everyday life. Eating, speaking, and even smiling confidently can be nearly impossible. Fortunately, dental implants are the most modern, comprehensive, and overall beneficial way to fill the gaps in your smile. However, they’re not the right treatment for everyone. While your dentist is the only one who can determine your eligibility for implants, here are five basic qualities that make you a good dental implant candidate.

You Have Healthy Gums

If plaque accumulates in your gums and causes inflammation, the implant could detach from your gums, creating pockets where bacteria could build up. The bacteria responsible for gum disease could even attack the bone supporting your implant, ultimately leading to implant failure.

You’re Proactive About Your Oral Health

Like natural teeth, dental implants need to be brushed twice a day. Flossing and rinsing with antibacterial mouthwash daily can also minimize plaque buildup. Failing to be diligent in these habits could cause an infection in your gums or remaining teeth that may compromise your implants.

You Have a Strong Jawbone

To be successful, implants need to fuse with your jawbone. This cannot happen if the bone has deteriorated, which is common after tooth loss. The good news is that your dentist can strengthen the jawbone with bone grafting, encouraging bone growth and creating enough of a foundation to accommodate dental implants.

You Don’t Have Any Chronic Diseases

Chronic illnesses can create problems for dental implants. For example, diabetes slows healing and interferes with the process of the implant posts integrating with the jawbone. Sleep apnea and heart disease could complicate anesthesia during the placement surgery. Bruxism (teeth grinding) could also prevent successful healing.

You Don’t Drink Excessively or Smoke

Drinking alcohol can complicate healing after dental implant surgery by inhibiting blood clotting and contributing to dry mouth. Similarly, smoking (or chewing) tobacco impairs your body’s ability to heal and fight off infections like gum disease.

Just because you don’t have all of these qualities doesn’t mean you can never become a good dental implant candidate. Your dentist can come up with ways to increase the success rate of implants despite any health conditions you may have. Schedule a consultation with them today to begin your journey to having a full and complete smile!

About the Author

Dr. Clayton Cummings is a dentist in the Green Hills area of Nashville who obtained his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Tennessee College of Dentistry. He proudly maintains active memberships in the American Dental Association, the Tennessee Dental Association, and the Nashville Dental Society. He would be more than happy to determine your eligibility for dental implants with a consultation. To begin your implant journey, visit Dr. Cummings’ website or call his office at 615-460-0123.