Are You a Candidate for Dental Implants?

Dental implants are the gold standard for replacing missing teeth. In addition to looking beautiful and feeling natural, dental implants also fend off future bone loss. Unfortunately, many patients are concerned about their candidacy for dental implants. Although there are certain instances where dental implants can’t be placed immediately, Dr. Scharf can help most people to become dental implant candidates eventually. Here are some issues that could interfere with your ability to receive dental implants in Long Island, and what Dr. Scharf might recommend to improve your chances of a successful procedure in the future.


Uncontrolled Illnesses

Dental implant surgery is a fairly involved procedure. In order for implants to anchor and heal successfully, patients should be generally healthy and free of disease that could hamper healing. Certain health problems, including cancer, hemophilia, diabetes, and autoimmune disorders can disrupt a person’s candidacy to receive dental implants because these disorders can affect your ability to heal. Some of these conditions can also cause serious infections after the procedure.

If you have an ongoing medical condition, Dr. Scharf will carefully evaluate your medical history to determine whether or not you are a candidate for implant surgery now, or if you might be after you address your medical problems.


Certain Medications

Although most people can become healthy enough for dental implants, some patients who have taken certain medications may not be right for dental implants. Medications including certain chemotherapy drugs, bisphosphonates, or corticosteroids have been shown to cause serious conditions like osteonecrosis, since they can fundamentally change the way the bone tissue responds to surgery.


Ongoing Dental or Periodontal Problems

To be a good candidate for dental implant surgery, patients should have generally healthy teeth and gums free of ongoing dental and periodontal problems. For example, if you have struggled with gum disease in the past, you should be dedicated to proper oral hygiene, and your teeth and gums should be clean and free of disease before the procedure. otherwise, the infection is likely to migrate to the implant site and interfere with integration.


Insufficient Bone Mass or Density

Dental implants are supported by small titanium posts inserted into your jawbone tissue, which is why bone density is so important. The jawbone tissue needs to be wide, deep, and strong enough to support an implant successfully. Because bone mass tends to recede after teeth are lost, patients who have been living with missing teeth for a while may require bone grafts before implants can be placed. Bone grafting is an effective treatment for bone density problems, but grafts can take several months to heal before they are strong enough for implants. Dr. Scharf can help you determine if bone grafts are right for you.


Lifestyle Habits

Certain lifestyle habits, such as poor oral hygiene, excessive drinking, or smoking can affect dental implant healing. In order to be a candidate for dental implant surgery, patients should be committed to maintaining an excellent dental hygiene routine and not smoking for the duration of the implant placement process. Since dental implant surgery is a multi-stage process that can take 4-12 months to complete, patients need to make sure that they are committed to not smoking for this timeframe—or risk dental implant failure. Patients should also avoid drinking while implants are healing, since alcohol can dry out the mouth and impede healing.


Schedule Your Consultation Today

Your health is Dr. Scharf's first priority. To find out if you are a candidate for dental implants in Long Island, make an appointment with Dr. David Scharf for a consultation.