If you're concerned about your smile, dealing with tooth damage, or need a solution for preventing misalignment, your dentist may recommend dental implant surgery. As a medical procedure that has revolutionized the way people manage missing teeth, dental implant surgery is a durable solution that gives you back a beautiful smile and the functionality of natural teeth.

However, since it is a medical procedure, it may not be a viable option for everyone. So, how do you know if dental implants are right for you?

In this article, the team from Dr. Suzanne Caudry's office discusses the pros and cons of dental implant surgery. We discuss some common reasons our patients have received dental implants, highlight the pros and cons of the procedure, and explore the impacts of pre-existing conditions on surgical candidates.

If you have questions or concerns about dental implant surgery, always speak to a medical or dental professional.

Understanding Dental Implants: What Are They?

Before discussing whether dental implants are suitable for everyone, it's essential to explain what they are and the surgical procedure involved in placing them.

Dental implants are artificial tooth roots surgically fused to the jawbone to help replace missing teeth. They function as anchors for dental prostheses (replacement teeth) and are permanently placed into the jawbone, providing a durable foundation and preventing further deterioration.

The implant is usually made of titanium, a strong but lightweight metal that won't deteriorate and can be safely inserted into the human body. Osseointegration, or the process of integrating the implant with the jawbone, takes several months to complete. However, once the surgery is complete, your implant can last decades when properly maintained and treated.

What Are the Leading Causes of Dental Implant Surgery?

Dental implants work wonders for people with diverse jaw, tooth, and gum issues. Whether you're dealing with tooth decay, gum disease, an injury, or congenital issues, compromised mouth health can lead to an array of other problems when left untreated.

The leading causes of dental implant surgery include the following:

  • Missing teeth: Losing teeth can have detrimental effects on oral and overall health. From increased risk of gum disease to bite problems and further teeth shifting, you can face many issues without a complete set of teeth.
  • Preserving bone: Another primary reason for dental implants is to preserve bone and prevent jawbone deterioration. Dental implants can help maintain facial structure and prevent bone loss.
  • Worsening mouth function: Dental implants also help address worsening mouth functionality. If you have issues eating or speaking clearly without discomfort, dental implants can provide a lasting solution.
  • Aesthetic enhancements: Improving your smile and providing a permanent solution to aesthetic concerns are other main reasons for investing in dental implants. Successful implant surgery can help you get beautiful, natural-looking teeth and restore self-confidence.

How to Know if You're a Good Candidate for Dental Implants

Like any medical procedure, there are specific criteria that make people eligible candidates for dental implant surgery. Consulting with an experienced implant dentist and oral surgeon is the best way to determine if you meet the criteria for receiving dental implants.

However, some basic factors to consider include the following:

Evaluating Your Oral Health

As with most dental procedures, maintaining oral health is an essential first step. Untreated gum disease and tooth decay can impact gum and bone tissue, both of which can compromise the success and integrity of the implant. Without good oral health, you may not be eligible for an implant and may have to delay the procedure until your other issues have been addressed.

Lifestyle Factors and Dental Implant Success

In addition to oral health, your overall health and lifestyle will impact your dental implant surgery. Excessive smoking, drinking, and consumption of highly acidic foods can increase the risk of infection and implant failure, and some periodontists will require you to meet specific minimum health standards before proceeding with the surgery.

Financial and Insurance Verification

Another primary consideration before opting for dental implant surgery is the financial aspect. The Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) does not cover dental implants, so verifying your coverage with a 3rd party insurer or being able to pay out of pocket safely is essential. Affordability plays a significant role in receiving dental implants, and it may not be a viable procedure for all patients.

Can Anyone Get Dental Implant Surgery?

Unfortunately, not everyone is a suitable candidate for dental implant surgery. Certain factors can increase the risk of complications and implant failure, making some people unable to receive the procedure.

As we explored above, factors like untreated gum disease, heavy smoking and alcohol consumption, and poor overall health can impact your suitability as a surgery candidate. However, there are several other factors and contraindications that may prevent you from receiving dental implants.

Contraindications for Dental Implant Candidacy

In medical terms, a contraindication is a condition or health factor that serves as a reason not to take certain treatments, procedures, or medications. They are essentially indicators that add additional risk to your procedure and may disqualify you from safely receiving surgery or an operation.

Dental implants can be contraindicated in patients by the following conditions:

  • Bleeding disorders
  • Immuno-deficiency conditions
  • Pregnancy
  • Unregulated diabetes
  • Radiation therapy
  • Chronic diseases (TB, cancer, rheumatoid disease, etc.)
  • Insufficient bone density
  • Excessive bruxism

Dental Implant Surgery Should be Recommended by a Professional

Dental implant surgery is a complex procedure that requires careful planning and execution by a qualified, experienced professional. While it may be appealing to get an implant and find a long-lasting solution to tooth damage, it's crucial that the procedure is recommended by a professional and not simply an aesthetic choice.

Connect With Dr. Suzanne Caudry to Plan Your Surgery Today

If you've dealt with tooth loss and jaw problems and want a professional opinion, consider connecting with Dr. Suzanne Caudry today. As a highly recommended, respected, and certified periodontist, Dr. Caudry has the skills and expertise to perform various procedures and oral treatments.

Call (416) 928-3444 to connect with our dental team and schedule your consultation today!