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Dental implants have revolutionized dentistry in the past 25 years. Implants can successfully replace the root or roots of a tooth which has been lost without anyone being able to tell the difference. What factors determines if one can receive this kind of dental restoration?

The young are not good candidates for dental implants because their jaw bones are not yet fully developed. Dental maturity in teens is typically around seventeen for boys, and fifteen for girls. There are other things a dentist can do if a tooth is missing while the jaw is still developing in the meantime. Then, once their jaw is fully developed and can support an implant, they can receive an implant.

Surprisingly, age is not a factor when considering a dental implant for adults. Patients in their 80’s and 90’s can receive implants as long as they have healthy bone to support it.

What determines implant viability?

— 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 for patients with tooth 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 teeth and gums are neglected the implant will not succeed. Conversely, properly cared for implants can last a lifetime!

— Is there enough bone available to support an implant? There needs to be enough bone material in the right place to fully support an implant. If there is not enough bone there are grafting techniques that can help make the adult patient ready.

If you have a missing tooth, you might find dental implant restoration an appropriate treatment for you. If you have any questions or would like more information, please call Quincy Center Dental Associates at 617-934-4914 and let us help you restore your beautiful, healthy smile!