Over the most recent years, many people have started to turn to dental implants rather than using something like veneers, bridges, or even dentures. The reason they are so popular is because they are a long-term solution that simply becomes a part of your mouth.
Dentures can be a pain because they require a lot of care and maintenance. Over time, your mouth changes and people struggle with dentures fitting poorly or not really fitting at all. Dental implants don’t typically have that issue.
The problem is that not everyone is an ideal candidate for dental implants. They are much better suited to certain groups of people and there are times when you might be told it’s not right for you.
Check out this guide to learn who is not suitable for dental implants.
Understanding Dental Implants
The first place to start is to understand just what dental implants are and how they work. These dental implants are formed specifically for your mouth but the process by which they are placed, and your mouth heals can be a long process.
A dental implant is actually implanted into your jawbone. If you think about the structure of a natural tooth, consider that they have roots that keep them in place. Those roots reach up into your jaw and hold the tooth securely where it is meant to be.
A dental implant is designed to mimic this. Obviously, it won’t have roots like your natural teeth. Instead, it has a titanium post. That post is inserted in the bone of your jaw. As the dental implant heals, your jawbone will fuse to the implant and ultimately make it part of the jaw and mouth as a permanent fixture.
The success of a dental implant relies heavily on the fusing process, but it also relies on your mouth and your oral care.
Because of the procedure for dental implants, there are people who are simply not ideal candidates for the process.
Age Factors - Youth
When it comes to dental implants, it is typically recommended that you not use this procedure on an individual whose jaw might still be growing. For that reason, you want to avoid children and even teens. The risk is that the jaw will grow and then the positioning and bonding of the implants would be negatively affected by the movement.
Putting dental implants into someone who still has a growing jaw leave more risk for the dental implants to not be successful. They likely will not last. However, you could potentially use a different temporary solution and then follow through with implants after the age of 18 or 19 when the jaw finishes growth.
The post of the implant could not only bond like it is supposed to, but you might also impede the natural growth of the jaw because of the implant. If the individual wants implants, consider alternatives until their jaw growth is complete.
Age Factors – Elderly
We threw out the youth so now let’s talk about the elderly people. This is a less common issue because it really has a pretty high ceiling for age. Most aged adults that are in need of teeth replacements will qualify for dental implants.
However, as one ages, there are certain health risks to this type of procedure. Most dentists that perform these procedures draw a line for an age limit of 85 and under. It’s certainly not anything against the elderly, it’s just that there are inherent risks with the surgery itself, as well as the recovery of getting dental implants.
There are occasional exceptions to this rule, but you will find it’s pretty common.
Poor Oral Health
Someone who has poor oral health habits is not a good candidate for dental implants. If they have poor oral health with their natural teeth, it’s not likely to improve with implants. Poor oral health is primarily related to the lack of oral hygiene. Someone who doesn’t brush regularly and allows their teeth and gums to decay without action are not ideal candidates.
We understand that sometimes oral health like gum diseases is not the individual’s fault. However, even in those circumstances, dental implants might not be a good fit because the gum diseases could potentially affect the validity of the implant and make it ineffective.
Most dentists will refuse to do dental implants for people who have bad habits that will affect their oral health. Some dentists will specify that if you smoke or chew, you are not an ideal candidate for dental implants.
The reason for this is that bad habits like these often directly affect your oral health and hygiene as well. These habits are bad for your health already and bad for your oral health. However, they also pose major risks if the surgery were to be performed.
Because of the side effects of these habits, your healing process could be negatively affected, and you might even cause infection or lack of healing from it. In addition, your dental implants are less likely to last as long as they should because the health of your mouth is quickly degraded by things like tobacco.
Most dentists that do implants will tell you that you’re not a candidate. Some dentists will agree to do the procedure if you stop smoking or chewing but then it is up to you to make sure you don’t start again and cause a problem with your implants.
Another thing that most dentists want to know is whether there are any inherent risk factors that might affect your procedure or your healing. For example, if you take a medication that won’t react well to the treatment or perhaps could slow down healing, you might not be a good candidate. That decision will be between you and your dentist.
Your general health also needs to be considered. The truth is that these things could affect your healing but could also put you at a higher risk for things like infection or failed implants. The dentist isn’t just picking on you. They are looking out for your health overall.
If you suffer from the following things, you might not be a candidate.
- Auto immune diseases
- Bone deterioration diseases
- Poor psychological health
- Systemic diseases
Any dentist performing dental implants should be doing a thorough screening that takes details like these into consideration. In some cases, you may still be a candidate, but it should be a responsible decision made with all of the details known by you and the dentist.
If you have been told that you don’t qualify for dental implants, it’s quite likely that one of these things could be the reason. However, it might also just be that your situation is one that the dentist is not comfortable working with. It’s ok to seek a second opinion. You might find a dentist more qualified to work with you. However, a second opinion does not always mean that the second dentist will approve the procedure.
One common thing that you might be told you are not a candidate for is the lack of bone in your jaw. You notice we didn’t list that above. This is because while that’s a common issue, there are typically solutions to working around not having enough bone. A dentist can often do a bone graft to fix that problem. Unless there is another factor at play, you may still be a candidate even if you don’t have enough bone. It’s just a more complicated process overall.
Is Dental Implant Surgery Risky?
Every surgery has its risks. You should always be aware of and familiar with any potential risk. There are certainly failed dental implant surgeries. This is why dentists might be choosy about who they performed the procedures on.
However, the overall success rate of dental implant surgery is very high. It’s up to 95%, which gives you a high likelihood of a successful process.
If you are considering dental implants, it’s important to note that it’s not for everyone. While the installation is a simple process, the healing and recover are more challenging. The majority of people are candidates but there are some groups of people that simply don’t make great candidates.
Your oral health is very important here. If a dentist feels like you won’t have a good reaction or simply won’t care for your implants, they reserve the right to refuse the procedure.