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In the past 25 years, dental implants have changed the face of dentistry. They are a replacement for the root (or roots) of a tooth which has fallen out. What determines if a person can receive this kind of dental restoration, and is age a factor?

Children are not a good candidate for dental implants, for the simple reason that their jaw bone is not fully developed. Children who lose an adult (permanent) tooth need to wait until they have matured. For boys this means waiting until they are around seventeen, and for girls, their jaw bone is usually developed by the time they are fifteen. In the meantime, there are other things a dentist can always do if a tooth is missing. Surprisingly, age in adults does not appear to be a factor. A tooth can be replaced with an implant for adults well into their 80’s and 90’s if they have healthy bone to support the implant.

There are other conditions though that will determine whether a patient is a good candidate for this type of restoration:

Overall general health
If a patient has diabetes or is a tobacco user, has alcoholism or is being treated for cancer or receiving radiation to the jaws, they are at risk for implant failure. One needs healthy teeth and gums to avoid gum disease which could deteriorate the bone.

The general condition of your mouth
If a patient has dental decay, periodontal (gum) disease or broken teeth, they will need to be fixed before a dental implant is done. The patient’s mouth must be stable before implants can be put in.

Can the patient take good care of their oral health?
A patient needs to be meticulous about maintaining a very healthy mouth to support an implant. If they neglect their teeth and gums the implant will not be supported.

Is there enough bone present to hold an implant?
A patient needs to have the right amount of bone in the right place to support an implant. If there is not enough bone available, there are grafting techniques that can be used to make the patient viable for an implant.

The good thing about dental implants is that if they are given the right care, they can last a lifetime! If you think you might be a good candidate for implant restoration, please call Urquiola Dental Center at 734-973-7450 for an appointment and let us help you get on the path to a beautiful smile!