Posted on: 8 July 2019Share
Have you been told you are not a good candidate for dental implants? Hearing this news can be really disheartening if you were really hoping for realistic, artificial tooth replacements. Although there are some people who will never be good candidates for implants due to a serious lack of jawbone strength or osteoporosis, most people can take some actions to make themselves a better candidate a year or two down the road. So, what might those actions be? Take a look.
1. Have Bone Grafting Surgery
Did your dentist tell you that you're not a candidate for implants specifically because your jawbone is not large enough or strong enough? This is a common problem in older patients and for people who wait more than a year or two to have a missing tooth replaced by an implant. Your dentist is not just being disagreeable. In order for an implant to become strongly rooted in your mouth, your jawbone needs to grow into and integrate with the implant. If you don't have enough jawbone, this won't happen, and your implant may remain too loose and wiggly for you to chew on it properly.
Luckily, there is a solution for some patients who don't have enough jawbone to get an implant currently. Your dentist can open up your gums, graft some cadaver bone to your jawbone, and give you a few months to heal. The cadaver bone should anneal itself to your own bone, creating a more stable surface for the implant to take hold. You may be able to have an implant six months to a year after the graft is complete.
2. Stop Smoking
If you are currently a smoker, that is probably why you have been told you're not a candidate for implants. Smoking slows down your body's healing process, especially in the mouth. In order for implants to take hold, your body needs to heal really well and really thoroughly. It won't do that if you are smoking. If you quit, however, your dentist may agree that you're able to heal well enough to have implants a few months to a year later.
Quitting smoking can be really tough; some people claim it is the hardest thing they have ever had to do. Knowing that, however, there are some things you can do to make it easier on yourself. Consider hypnotherapy, join a support group, and talk to your doctor about prescription medications that can help ease your cravings.
3. Get Your Blood Sugar Under Closer Control
Years ago, many dentists would not perform implant surgery on diabetic patients because they believed such patients would not heal well. Now, dentists are more willing to do implant surgery on diabetics but only if their blood sugar is under close control. If you are a diabetic and have been told you are not a candidate for implants, this is probably due to your blood sugar levels, not your actual diagnosis.
Talk to your physician about steps you can take to improve your blood sugar control. This may mean adhering more closely to your recommended diet, losing some weight, or switching insulin administration methods. (Insulin pumps help many people keep their blood sugar more stable during the day.) If your doctor is able to vouch for the fact that your blood sugar has been under better control lately, your dentist may determine you are now a better candidate for implants.
If you have been told you're not a good candidate for dental implants, do not give up! Talk to your dentist about these and other ways to improve your health and become a better candidate for dental implants.