Candidacy for Dental Implants: Are They Right for You?

In order to be eligible for dental implants, patients must have a healthy jawbone, be free from periodontal disease, and be willing to commit to healthy lifestyle habits, such as refraining from smoking. Dr. James Slaman will conduct an initial consultation at our Albuquerque, NM, office to assess your oral health and determine your candidacy for dental implants or other restorative dentistry procedures

Your Initial Consultation

The first step in determining your candidacy for dental implants is to meet with Dr. Slaman for a consultation. He will perform a full assessment of your teeth and gums to make sure you are in good oral health. X-rays and digital scans will be taken so Dr. Slaman can evaluate your jawbone density and assess the areas where your teeth are missing.

Dr. Slaman will discuss your health history with you at length to identify any contraindications for treatment. Most people in good overall health who want a permanent solution for missing teeth are generally excellent candidates for dental implants. However, pregnant women, patients with auto-immune conditions, or smokers may be disqualified.

Health and Lifestyle Can Affect Candidacy

To establish candidacy, it is important to determine your personal goals and desires. Because each patient has different needs, treatment can vary considerably. Dr. Slaman will work with you to design a personalized treatment plan to fit your situation.

When Dr. Slaman performs your comprehensive assessment, he will be looking for a few key factors. These include:

  • Lifestyle Habits: Studies consistently show that smoking can impede or prevent proper healing, affecting the long-term success of dental implants. Bruxism (teeth grinding), may also interfere with a patient’s candidacy for implants. However, a custom-made mouth guard can provide necessary protection. Dr. Slaman will determine if this solution will be helpful for you.
  • Oral Health: Good candidates for dental implants enjoy optimal oral health. If you have extensive tooth decay or periodontal disease, these issues will need to be addressed before pursuing any implant treatment.
  • Overall Health: Certain health conditions may hinder proper healing. Additionally, some medications, such as blood thinners or cancer drugs, may be of concern.
In order to be eligible for dental implants, patients must have a healthy jawbone, be free from periodontal disease, and be willing to commit to healthy lifestyle habits, such as refraining from smoking.

Preparatory Procedures

Some patients may require preparatory procedures before they can receive implants. Patients who require this treatment have generally been missing teeth for an extended period of time, resulting in jawbone deterioration. Preparatory procedures typically include bone grafts and sinus lifts, and are treatments that reinforce the jawbone to ensure that your implants have the most stable foundation possible.

Both bone grafting and sinus lift procedures add healing time to your recovery. If you must undergo preparatory procedures, expect to add up to nine months to your treatment timeline.

Schedule an Appointment Today

To learn more about dental implants, or to find out whether you are a candidate, schedule a consultation with Dr. Slaman. Contact us online or call our office at (505) 881-7586.