If you’re missing one or more teeth, you aren’t alone: According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, the average Australian adult has 4.5 missing teeth. But solidarity doesn’t make a smile with gaps any prettier, more functional, or easier to clean.

By far the most permanent, durable solution to a missing tooth is the dental implant. Implants are perfect replacements for your natural teeth, both in appearance and in functionality. If cared for well, dental implants can last decades–even a lifetime–without needing to be replaced. But are you a good candidate for this procedure?

older man relaxing on his couch at home

The Absolute Requirements

There are a few attributes you absolutely must have for any dentist to consider giving you dental implants. First, of course, you must have at least one missing or failing tooth. (That’s a pretty easy bar to meet for most people seeking dental implants!) Second, you must be an adult. This is because children’s and teenagers’ mouths are still developing, which could result in dental implants ending up in the wrong position over time.

Finally, you need to be in good enough health to undergo surgery. While dental implant surgery is localized to a small area, it’s still a surgery and carries with it certain risks. Your doctor will need to sign off on any dental implant procedure before your dentist will perform it.

The Potential Problems

Of course, there are also issues that could present obstacles to dental implants, depending on the severity and what your dentist thinks after an exam. For example:

You Have Gum Disease

Gum disease is an infection, and infection is the biggest threat to dental implants. Your dentist will want to make sure that any infection in your mouth is fully cleared up before seriously considering dental implants. Otherwise, placing dental implants in a gum disease-ridden mouth can result in issues with healing and ultimately result in implant failure.

You’re a Smoker

Smoking prevents your mouth from healing — in fact, smokers are two to three times more likely to experience dental implant failure. Your dentist will recommend that you quit smoking during the procedure and the healing period at the very least (although it’s best for your oral health if you quit smoking altogether!)

You Don’t Have Enough Jaw Bone

Dental implants are implanted directly into the jaw bone, so if you don’t have enough bone to support one, the procedure is a no-go. You can get a bone graft procedure to make implants possible, but that could add up to six months to your treatment time.

You’re Taking Certain Medications

Some medications can interfere with the healing process and make your dental implants more likely to fail. It’s important that you discuss any and all medications (including over-the-counter medications and herbal supplements) with your dentist before the procedure.

Why You Should Consider Dental Implants

If you’re considering not getting dental implants because you need a bone graft or because you need to treat your gum disease first, then you’re missing out on tons of benefits. The procedure time might take a while for dental implants, but the results are absolutely worth the wait. Here are a few reasons why you should consider dental implants and why you should put in the time and effort to become a good candidate if possible.

They Retain Jaw Bone

The bone in your jaw is what holds your teeth in place. Additionally, it also supports the lower third of your facial structure. This includes your lips, cheeks, chin, and nose. When you lose bone due to tooth loss, your facial structure will begin to collapse and it will cause you to look older than your age. You may experience more wrinkles, loose sagging skin, thin lips, shallow cheekbones, and a sunken-in facial appearance. Dental implants stimulate the jaw bone which prevents it from resorbing.

They’re Secure

When you opt for dental implants instead of dentures, you will feel pleasantly surprised to find how secure they feel. Dental implants are the closest solutions to natural teeth. Since they’re secured to your jaw bone, eating, smiling, and speaking will feel natural and secure. You won’t have to worry about your replacement teeth falling out at the wrong time. Go ahead and eat all your favorite foods, laugh, and sing without worry.

They’re Comfortable

Dental implants are also incredibly comfortable. You won’t even realize they’re in your mouth because they function and feel just like natural teeth.

They Will Increase Your Confidence

Living with missing teeth, or loose dentures can harm your self-confidence. Dental implants, however, can help you get your confidence back. Once you replace your teeth with a natural functioning and looking solution, you won’t have anything to feel self-conscious about in regards to your smile.

They Prevent Teeth From Shifting

One of the biggest reasons you should get dental implants is to prevent any of your remaining teeth from shifting. When a tooth replacement isn’t placed in your mouth after losing a tooth, the adjacent teeth react by trying to close the gaps themselves. This can cause your teeth to shift out of place and ruin your bite. By getting dental implants, your adjacent teeth will have a buffer that prevents them from moving out of place.

Get Dental Implants in Sydney Today

Do dental implants sound like the perfect tooth replacement? If you’re considering dental implants in Sydney, call (02) 9686 7375 or contact us online. We would love to talk with you and help you determine if you’re a good candidate for dental implants.