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Dental implants have changed the face of dentistry in the past 25 years. They can successfully replace the root or roots of a tooth which have been lost. What are the factors to determine whether one can receive this kind of dental restoration?

Children and young teens are not candidates for dental implants, because their jaw bones are not yet fully developed. Children who lose a permanent tooth must wait until they have matured. For boys this is around seventeen, and for girls, this is fifteen. There are other things your dentist can do if a tooth is missing and the jaw is still developing. Once the jaw is fully developed and can support an implant, your young adult can receive an implant. Age in adults is not a factor when considering a dental implant. Adults in their 80’s and 90’s can still receive implants as long as they have healthy bone to support the implant. And if properly cared for, implants can last a lifetime!

Conditions your dentist will consider to see if you will make a good candidate for implant restoration include:

Overall general health
Patients with the following are at risk for implant failure: diabetes, cancer, receiving radiation to the jaws, or is a tobacco user or is dealing with alcoholism. Healthy teeth and gums are a must to avoid gum disease which can deteriorate the bone.

The general condition of your mouth
Dental work must be done if a patient has dental decay, periodontal (gum) disease or broken teeth. 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 committed in maintaining excellent oral health to support an implant. If they neglect their teeth and gums the implant will not succeed.

Is there enough bone available to support an implant?
There needs to be the right amount of bone in the right place to support an implant. If there is not enough bone there are grafting techniques that can be used to make the patient ready for an implant.

If you have a missing tooth and feel you might be a good candidate for implant restoration, please call Alaska Dental Associates at 907-562-2284 and let us help you get on the path to a beautiful smile!