Dental implants are the best tooth replacement option. And, in general, it’s best to get them sooner rather than later. That way they can help preserve bone structure and your facial appearance. But in some situations we may recommend waiting to get your dental implants.
Here are some situations where waiting to get dental implants might be best.
Active Oral Infections
Although dental implants can’t get cavities, they can be affected by oral bacteria infecting other teeth. This can include bacteria found in an abscessed tooth and bacteria found around teeth as part of gum disease.
Some common symptoms related to infected teeth and gums include:
- Tooth pain
- Bleeding gums
- Red or swollen gums
- Receding gums
- Chronic bad breath
If we identify significant oral health problems that can endanger your dental implants, we’ll recommend that you get those treated first before you get your implants. Of course, if the problem is an infected tooth, the best treatment might well be extraction and replacement with a dental implant.
You should only get dental implants if you’re in good enough health for surgery. Dental implant surgery is relatively minor, but it is still surgery. So if you’re currently ill or recovering from another surgery, it might be best to wait.
Some health conditions, such as diabetes, may also impact the survival of dental implants. We have to consider these factors before recommending dental implants.
Also in this category is when you are taking medications that might interfere with implant success. Many of these medications may be taken over the short-term, so we can just wait until your prescription expires. Other times, the medications may be taken for chronic illness. Then we’ll have to talk to your doctor about suspending the medication or accept that you may have elevated risk.
If we have doubts about your health, we may ask that you get clearance from your doctor before proceeding with surgery.
You’re Not Ready to Make a Change
Dental implants are only necessary if you’ve lost one or more teeth. This may not be your fault, but it may also be related to lifestyle factors. Unfortunately, the same lifestyle factors that can lead to tooth loss can also lead to dental implant failure. In that case, we might ask you to make a commitment to change before we recommend dental implants
Smoking, other tobacco use, heavy alcohol use, and poor oral hygiene are some of the more common lifestyle factors we encounter that can lead to a loss of dental implants. If you’re not willing to commit to changing these aspects of your life, we may recommend against dental implants.
Dental Implants Are Right Most of the Time
The good thing is that for most people, these factors aren’t an issue. Instead, dental implants remain a great treatment option for almost everyone at almost any time.