Reviewed by Dr. Benjamin Foley and Dr. Thao Le

Dental implants have become an increasingly popular solution for replacing missing teeth. If you’re considering this life-changing procedure, it’s important to determine whether you’re an ideal candidate. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the various factors that can determine your eligibility for this dental procedure.

Table of Contents

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are a tooth replacement option that involves surgically implanting a titanium post into the jawbone. Dental implants replace the tooth root and provide a secure foundation for artificial teeth, restoring your natural smile and facial structure.

Benefits of Dental Implants

  • Improved oral health
  • Long-lasting 
  • Natural-looking 
  • Improved speech
  • Enhanced comfort
Key Takeaway

To be eligible for dental implants, you must have adequate bone density and quality, healthy gums, good oral hygiene, good general health and be a non-smoker or willing to quit smoking for a period of time.

Are You a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?

In order to determine whether you’re a good candidate for dental implants, your oral surgeon will consider several factors.

1. Adequate Bone Density and Quality

Your jawbone needs to have enough density to support the dental implant. If you have insufficient bone density, you may require a bone graft to replace the jaw’s missing bone. Your oral surgeon will assess your jawbone using 3D imaging to determine if you have enough bone density. For more information about bone grafts, read When Are Bone Grafts Necessary for Dental Implants?

2. Healthy Gums

Healthy gums are essential for the success of dental implants. People with gum disease are prone to implant failure as it could lead to bone loss around the implant. If you have gum disease, your oral surgeon may recommend periodontal health maintenance before considering dental implants.

3. Good Oral Hygiene

Proper oral hygiene practices are required to maintain dental implants and the surrounding tissues. People who struggle with maintaining good oral hygiene may experience complications or an increased risk of implant failure. Adequate home care, regular dental check-ups, and professional cleanings are essential for the longevity of dental implants.

4. General Health

Certain medical conditions or the use of specific medications can negatively impact the success of dental implants. Patients with uncontrolled diabetes, cancer, or autoimmune disorders may experience slower healing and an increased risk of infection after implant surgery. Discuss your medical history with your oral surgeon to determine if dental implants are a suitable option for you.

5. Non-Smokers

Smoking has been shown to interfere with the healing process and reduce the success rate of dental implants. If you’re a smoker, it is recommended to quit smoking before undergoing dental implant surgery and during the healing period to increase the chances of a successful outcome. In general, the failure rate of implants in smokers is four times greater than non-smokers. 

For more information, read The Impact of Smoking on Dental Implants: Why Quitting is Essential

Dental Implants in Boulder, CO

At Foley & Le Oral Surgery, our experienced surgeons, Dr. Benjamin Foley, Dr. Daniel Foley and Dr. Thao Le, specialize in dental implant surgery to restore your smile. We are committed to ensuring a comfortable, safe, and successful procedure. We make every effort to customize your treatment plan, so you can improve the appearance and functionality of your teeth.

If you are considering dental implants and wondering if you’re a good candidate, contact us today for a consultation to discuss your options. We’ll work with you to ensure you get the best treatment possible and achieve optimal results.

If you are searching for dental implants in Boulder, call (303) 444-2255 to book an appointment or complete the online booking form.

FAQs About Dental Implants

What Is the Success Rate of Dental Implants?

Dental implants have a very high success rate and can last for many years, depending on your oral hygiene habits and lifestyle.

What Are the Benefits of Dental Implants?

Dental implants can provide a secure, long-lasting solution for missing teeth and restore your smile to its full potential. They help improve the look and feel of your teeth, as well as help prevent jawbone loss that is associated with missing teeth. Additionally, they can help restore your ability to chew and speak normally. For more information about the benefits of dental implants, read 5 Ways Dental Implants Can Improve Your Quality of Life.

How Long Does It Take for Dental Implants To Heal?

The healing process varies depending on the complexity of the procedure and individual healing rates. Generally, it takes between 4-6 months for a dental implant to integrate with the jawbone before a permanent restoration can be placed on top of it. For more information, read Healing After Dental Implants – What to Expect.

Are Dental Implants Expensive?

The cost of dental implants will vary based on the number of teeth being replaced and the complexity of your treatment plan. However, dental implants are a durable and long-term investment in restoring your smile and can be more cost-effective than other tooth replacement options.

Can a Smoker Have a Dental Implant?

It is possible for a smoker to have a dental implant, but the success rate is significantly lower than that of non-smokers. We recommend quitting smoking to improve your chances of successful implant healing.

Is Light Smoking After Dental Implant Surgery Okay?

We do not recommend smoking at all after dental implant surgery. You should refrain from smoking for a minimum of four weeks after implant surgery.

What Are Dental Implants Made Of?

The most common material used to make the implant post is titanium or zirconia. Titanium is biocompatible, corrosion resistant and very durable. Zirconia is hypoallergenic and corrosion resistant.

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