Am I a Candidate for Dental Implants?

If you have lost one or more teeth and want the best tooth replacement option, then you want dental implants. But can you get dental implants? Most of the time, the answer is yes: dental implants are suitable for most adults who are looking to replace lost teeth.

This page will help you understand why you are likely a good candidate for dental implants in Las Vegas, but the only way to know for sure is to schedule an appointment with an implant dentist. Please call (702) 873-0324 or email the office of Dr. James B. Polley to schedule your evaluation.

Minimum Requirements for Dental Implant Candidates

In order to qualify as a candidate for dental implants, you must be:

  • An adult whose jaw has finished growing
  • In good oral health
  • Fit for surgery

If there is any question about the state of your jaw growth, we will perform an exam to determine if your jaw is mature enough for dental implants.

We will also examine your mouth to evaluate your oral health. In particular, we are concerned about the presence of gum disease, which is the leading cause of dental implant failure. If you have gum disease, we may have to treat it before proceeding with implant placement.

You should talk to your doctor about your health and whether you are fit enough for dental implant surgery. We will want to know about all medications you are taking, especially those that might impact the ability of your dental implants to integrate into the bone, such as bisphosphonates (osteoporosis medications) or certain types of antidepressants.

Desired Characteristics for Dental Implant Candidates

You are a candidate for dental implants if you meet the above criteria, but the best candidates have a number of other characteristics, such as:

  • Adequate bone at the implant site
  • Generally good bone density
  • Currently a nonsmoker, and preferably never smoked
  • Committed to caring for dental implants

Dental Implants Candidate

Ideally, when we evaluate the dental implant site, we find that the volume and density of bone present should be adequate to support the dental implants. However, if there isn’t enough bone, several solutions might be used. We might recommend different placements of your dental implants to take advantage of where bone is. This may include angled or zygomatic implants. Also, bone grafts might be used to build up your bones to support the implants.

Smokers can get dental implants, but their failure rate is much higher than for nonsmokers. Current smokers are at the highest risk, but even former smokers may be impacted. Ideally, if you want to get dental implants, you should quit smoking altogether, but you should at least quit during the period of bone healing.

Finally, it’s important that you be committed to caring for your dental implants. As we mentioned above, the leading cause of dental implant failure is gum disease, and this is often—though not always—related to poor oral hygiene. To ensure the longevity of y our dental implants, you have to be committed to brushing, flossing, and making your regular dental visits.

If you think you might be a good candidate for dental implants in Las Vegas and want to be evaluated, please call (702) 873-0324 or email the Summerlin dental office of Dr. James B. Polley today for an appointment.