Dental implants – are they for you?

Dental implants provide you with a way to restore a full and healthy smile. Implants are titanium posts placed into the jaw bone that then attaches to a prosthetic tooth to replace one or more missing teeth. Before deciding whether or not to get implants, it’s important to take a few factors into consideration.

Oral health

Most healthy adults can get dental implants, but there are certain circumstances that can make this procedure difficult or impossible to do. Patients with periodontal disease are usually not considered good candidates for implants, since implants require healthy gum tissue. Patients also need enough bone in their jaws to hold the implant in place. Those who have had bone loss due to periodontal disease might not have enough jawbones available for implants, and therefore need bone grafting or bone augmentation

Underlying medical conditions

Some medical conditions make it hard for bones to heal properly. Patients who have a medical condition which interferes with bone healing may not be good candidates for implants because the dental implants may not stay in place. Smokers and uncontrolled diabetes patients are the two main groups of patients who require extra care.

Time commitment

Because bone heals slowly, the processes involved with having dental implants can take several months to fully complete. It is important to keep this in mind when considering whether or not to have implant surgery. Implants are first placed into your jawbone, where they will require up to 6 months to fuse together with the surrounding bone. Once fusion has occurred, your dentist will then require a few appointments before the crown/artificial tooth can be placed.


Dental implant surgery is generally considered a safe procedure. As with any type of surgery, there are certain risks to consider. The potential risks include infection at the surgical site, temporary inflammation, swelling bruising, sinus problems, nerve damage or damage to surrounding teeth or blood vessels. Keep in mind that these risks are very rare.

If you are thinking about undergoing implant surgery, discuss the process with your dentist in order to determine whether or not it’s right for you. Your dentist can help you decide if implants would work best for filling in any gaps you have as a result of missing teeth.