Dental implants have many advantages over other options to replace lost teeth. Once successfully in place the implant is almost impossible to identify as a fake tooth, there is no discomfort such as from a plate that rubs and it lasts for a very long time, so is durable and effective as a working tooth or teeth.Sadly, not everyone is suitable for this procedure. It is essential to consult with a dentist who is highly experienced in the procedure to find out if they think you would be a good candidate. Otherwise the procedure will cost a lot and not be successful, something that no one wants to have happen.
Dental implants are most successful when –
- The candidate has finished growing, so it can be done after adolescence once the bone has finished growing.
- The ideal candidate should be in good health. However, if you have diabetes, cancer or periodontal disease additional treatment can be performed before the implant to ensure a better chance of success.
- You will need to have sufficient bone structure. The jaw bone must be of a suitable width and depth to support the implant and for osseointergration to take place. X-rays and CT scans will be done to evaluate the bone health and size.
- In some cases, you may need to have a bone graft or soft tissue graft to make the area more suitable. Otherwise a mini-implant can be an option. This is the same as the other procedure; it just uses a smaller screw.
- You need to not be a smoker or to quit before the procedure, because smoking can have a negative impact on recovery and the dentist may refuse to do the procedure due to the higher risk of failure.
- If you are taking immune-suppressant drugs, the dentist may again advise against having the procedure due to the risk of failure.
The success rate for dental implants is quite high, but much depends on where the implant is done. The most successful is at the back of the lower jaw where the bone is likely to be more dense and so stronger. Studies have shown that the success rate for the lower jaw implants is 95% and for the upper jaw it is 90%.
The main risk with this procedure is that osseointergration does not take place for some reason. It could be that a smaller screw would be more suitable and this is often tried. Other, less common occurrences are the implant breaking, the site becomes infected or the crown may come loose from the base.