Anyone who has lost a tooth is generally a candidate for dental implants. The criterion that has to be met for an implant to succeed essentially includes adequate bone height as well as good general health.
Bone support is a cornerstone in the success of implants because it serves as an anchorage for it. In some cases, children or teens might not be considered for treatment as their jawbones are still developing. On the other hand, people who have inadequate bone (because of tooth loss) can undergo special procedures to regain bone height needed for implants.
Healthy gums are also in the checklist for implants to succeed. Any current periodontal disease affecting the bone height and bone integrity will more likely cause an implant to fail. Any signs of these as well other notable conditions in the mouth that can affect treatment have to be resolved first before the dental implant procedure can be started.
Age of the patient is not really much of a concern in implant dentistry but rather the person’s general health. Certain diseases and health conditions may prevent or delay the treatment. Some of these include smoking, uncontrolled diabetes as well as alcoholism.
Smoking delays healing while people with alcoholism might not able to follow dentist instructions as well maintain their oral health. Uncontrolled diabetes as well as certain heart conditions, high dose radiation therapy for cancer and having a compromised immune system also poses great challenges for the implant treatment outcome.
Coupled with these types of conditions are the use of certain medications that also alter our body’s ability to heal and accept foreign materials such as implants. It is very important for your implant dentist to know your medical history for these reasons.
Still, the best way to find out if you are a good candidate for an implant is to consult your implant specialist. Some things that need to be checked can only be seen through a thorough initial evaluation which includes taking radiographs and clinically examining the mouth. Treatment options, as well as costs, will also be available once this information (together with your medical history) is completely obtained.