Who Is a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?

By Rafael Mercado, DDS on July 01, 2021

For patients with missing teeth, dental implants improve health, quality of life, and comfortable oral function. At Castle Hills Family Dental in Castle Hills, TX, Dr. Rafael Mercado offers dental implants to replace individual missing teeth or to anchor dentures. 

Sometimes, however, poor oral health, general health problems, or unhealthy habits make a person ineligible for dental implants. If you’re not a good candidate now, don’t give up hope. Many patients can become qualified for the procedure by making a few lifestyle changes and undergoing treatments to improve oral and overall health.

The criteria for getting dental implants includes:

Having No Oral Diseases

Tooth decay, abscesses, oral cancer, or gum disease can disqualify a person from being a dental implant candidate. In fact, any oral disease may slow or otherwise hinder the healing process after implant placement. 

The good news is that Dr. Mercado can perform the necessary treatments to help patients overcome their oral health problems so they can have implants placed.

Having Healthy Bone

Good bone health and density are critical to a successful outcome with a dental implant procedure. Because implants are secured in the jawbone, the bone must have sufficiently healthy tissue to grow around the implants. This process, called osseointegration, usually takes three to nine months.

Jaw atrophy can occur due to tooth loss. If you plan to undergo a dental implant procedure a bone graft may be performed to create a solid foundation for implants. Bone grafts can reinforce the jawbone in patients with poor jawbone density, making them eligible for an implant procedure. 

Having Good Oral Hygiene

Poor oral health, beyond the diseases mentioned above, may temporarily disqualify you from being a good implant candidate. If you allow Dr. Mercado to help you achieve good oral health, and you commit to twice-a-day brushing and daily flossing, becoming a candidate for implants will only be a matter of time.

Not Using Tobacco

Chewing or smoking tobacco is not only bad for your lungs and general health, it’s also harmful to your gum tissue and dental health. In addition, using tobacco can complicate healing after implant surgery. Dr. Mercado, our team members, and your physician would be happy to provide you with ways to stop smoking or dipping. If you commit to being tobacco-free, you may become a dental implant candidate. 

Being Generally Healthy

If you have diabetes or some other health conditions, your mouth will not heal as quickly as it would for a healthy person, after dental implants are placed. Because of this, the risk for post-surgical complications is greater. 

People undergoing chemotherapy are also not ideal candidates for implants. Once your chemo is completed, Dr. Mercado can reassess your oral health to determine if you are a candidate.

What If You Don’t Qualify for Dental Implants?

In many situations, becoming eligible for implants is possible, with time and commitment. Talk with Dr. Mercado and your physician about how to improve your candidacy. 

If you will not qualify for implants, you don’t have to live with missing teeth. Talk with our team about other teeth replacement options. 

Find Out If You Are a Candidate for Dental Implants

If you have lost some or all of your teeth, dental implants could improve your life, as well as your health. Contact Castle Hills Family Dental today or call (210) 405-1257 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Mercado. He will evaluate your oral health, discuss your physical health and medications, then recommend the best treatment plan to replace your missing teeth.