Reasons Why You May Not Be Suited for Dental Implants

Reasons Why You May Not Be Suited for Dental Implants By Dr. Jon ( Junyi ) Ho | November 18, 2022

When we think about missing teeth, the first thing that comes to mind is how it affects our appearance. After all, a smile is one of the first things people notice about us, and missing teeth can make us less attractive.

While the problem with tooth loss might seem like a cosmetic issue at first glance, there are actually many different ways it can impact our lives. Missing teeth can make chewing difficult, cause speech problems, and lead to gum disease. Fortunately, missing teeth can now be replaced.

Dental implants are quickly becoming one of the most popular tooth replacement options, and it’s easy to see why. Unlike dentures or bridges, which rest on top of the gums, dental implants are surgically embedded into the jaw bone. This provides a more secure and stable foundation for a new tooth.

However, dental implants may not be suitable for everyone. In this blog post, we’ll explore why some people are not good candidates for dental implants. We’ll also look at alternative treatment options for missing teeth. Keep reading!

young woman at the dentist.

Who Are Not Suited for Dental Implants?

Certain conditions may disqualify a person from dental implant surgery. These include:

  • Poor oral hygiene: If you do not maintain good oral hygiene, bacteria in plaque buildup can cause gum disease. This can lead to gum inflammation and bone loss, which makes dental implants less likely to be successful. Good oral health is a requirement for teeth implants.

  • Active gum disease: If you have active gum disease, it is important to manage it before considering dental implants. Once the gum disease is controlled, you must wait for the tissue to heal before getting implants.

  • Inadequate bone tissue: Dental implants require sufficient bone tissue to be successful. If you do not have adequate bone tissue, your implant will not have enough bone tissue to hold on to. To address such cases, your dentist may recommend a sinus lift or bone graft procedure. Bone grafting adds bone material to the jawbone to compensate for bone loss.

  • Certain medical conditions: Some health conditions can make dental implants more difficult or even impossible. Patients with uncontrolled diabetes, osteoporosis, cancer, and autoimmune diseases are unsuitable for dental implants.

  • Heavy smokers: Smoking can interfere with the healing process after surgery, leading to implant failure. If you are a heavy smoker, you may need to quit smoking altogether before getting implants.

  • Excessive alcohol use: Like smoking, excessive alcohol use can interfere with healing and increase the risk of implant failure. If you drink heavily, you may need to cut back or stop drinking altogether before getting implants.

  • Taking certain medications: Some medications can interact with the healing of dental implants. Patients taking bisphosphonates (used to treat osteoporosis), anticoagulants (used to prevent blood clots), and immunosuppressants (used to treat autoimmune diseases) are not recommended to have dental implants.

  • Radiotherapy treatment in the jaw area: Radiation therapy can cause jawbone changes, making it difficult for dental implants to take hold. If you have had radiotherapy treatment in the past, you may need to wait several years before getting implants.

What Are the Disadvantages of Dental Implant Treatment?

Dental implants are a popular treatment for missing teeth, but there are some disadvantages to consider before you undergo the procedure.

  • They are expensive: The cost of dental implants varies, but it is generally higher than other tooth replacement options, such as dentures.

  • They require surgery: The procedure for placement of dental implants requires surgery, which means there is a risk of infection, pain, and swelling.

  • They take time: The entire process of getting dental implants can take several months because the treatment plan involves several phases. First, the implants must be placed in your jawbone and allowed to fuse with the bone (a process called osseointegration). Then, an abutment, a small connector piece, is placed on top of the implant. Finally, a prosthetic tooth (or teeth) is attached to the abutment.

  • They are not covered by dental insurance: Dental implant treatment is considered a cosmetic procedure and is not usually covered by dental insurance.

  • There’s a risk of bone loss: One of the complications associated with dental implants is peri-implantitis, which is an inflammation of the tissues around the implant. When this happens, it can cause bone loss around the implant, eventually leading to implant failure.

  • They may fail: While dental implants have a success rate of 90-95%, they are not fail-proof. Some reasons for implant failure include an infection in the bone around the implant, damage to the implant during oral surgery, or poor implant placement.

If you’re considering dental implants, talk to your dentist about their disadvantages. Take these into consideration when deciding on dental implants.

What Are the Treatment Alternatives for Dental Implants?

There are a few alternative treatment solutions to dental implants if you are not eligible for surgery due to oral hygiene, gum disease, or inadequate bone tissue. These alternative treatments include:

Dental bridges

A dental bridge is a prosthesis held in place by anchoring to surrounding teeth. This dental treatment is less expensive than dental implants. However, the adjacent natural teeth must be trimmed to place the bridge. In addition, oral hygiene maintenance is more difficult as false teeth can trap food and bacteria.

Dentures

Dentures are removable false teeth. Partial dentures are less expensive than dental implants and do not require dental surgery. However, they can be uncomfortable and may shift easily. Additionally, oral hygiene maintenance poses a challenge, as food and bacteria can get trapped under the dentures.

Final Thoughts

Dental implants are a great way to replace missing teeth. However, they are not always the ideal option for everyone. If you have a history of gum disease, if you smoke, or if you have insufficient bone density, you may not be a good candidate for dental implants. Additionally, you may be unsuitable for implants if you have a poor oral hygiene routine.

If you have missing teeth and are considering dental implants, visit our website or call Darch Dental Centre to book a consultation appointment. Our skilled dentists will be happy to assess your needs and suitability for implants and discuss your treatment options.

Frequently Asked questions

Dental implants are made of titanium, a metal that is well-tolerated by, and is compatible with, the human body. Dental implants have one of the highest success rates of any surgical procedure.

The titanium posts are surgically placed in the jawbone to serve as artificial tooth roots. They are safe and strong and provide a foundation for artificial teeth that look, feel, and function like natural teeth.

There are a few risks associated with dental implant surgery, but these are usually due to factors such as poor oral hygiene, gum disease, or inadequate bone tissue. With proper care, dental implants can last a lifetime.

Dental implant surgery is a precise procedure. The surgery itself is usually straightforward, and the risks are generally low. Of course, as with any surgery, there is always a possibility of complications.

In rare cases, other teeth can be damaged during dental implant surgery. This usually occurs if the surgeon accidentally applies too much force when placing the implant.

If you are concerned about the possibility of damage to other teeth during dental implant surgery, be sure to discuss this with your surgeon before the procedure.

While it is true that dental implants are made of metal, they are much less likely to corrode than other dental materials, such as amalgam fillings. This is because dental implants are made of titanium, a metal that is highly resistant to corrosion. Dental implants are so durable that they can last a lifetime with proper care.

However, dental implants can still corrode over time. Causes of dental implant corrosion include:

  • Consuming acidic foods and drinks
  • Trauma to the mouth
  • Using tobacco products


If dental implant corrosion is left unaddressed, it can cause bone loss and other serious health problems.

To prevent dental implant corrosion, it is important to practice good oral hygiene habits and visit your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings.

There are some complications associated with a dental implant procedure. Here are some of them:

  • Infection: This is the most serious dental implant complication. When bacteria enter the implant site, they can cause inflammation, pain, and damage to the surrounding tissues. Infection can also lead to implant failure.

  • Nerve Damage: If the nerves in the gums or jaw are damaged during surgery, it can cause numbness, tingling, or pain. In some cases, nerve damage is permanent.

  • Damage to adjacent teeth: Placing dental implants requires drilling into the jawbone. If done improperly, it can damage nearby teeth.

  • Sinus Issues: Dental implants can also cause sinus issues. Implants placed too close to the sinus may cause pain and congestion. In some cases, it can also lead to a sinus infection.

  • Allergic Reactions: Some people may be allergic to the materials used in dental implants, such as titanium or other metals. Allergic reactions can cause swelling, redness, and itching at the implant site.

  • Bone Loss: One of the most common complications associated with dental implants. This happens if there is insufficient bone to support the implant or if the implant does not fuse with the bone.

Dr. Jon ( Junyi ) Ho

Dr. Jon is a Perth-based dentist who graduated with a Bachelor of Dental Science in 2005 from the University of Western Australia. He has worked at a range of dental practices, including being a partner and principal dentist for a group of five dental surgeries in Sydney. Dr. Jon has been practising for over a decade in the northern suburbs of Perth. He provides treatment for patients in Darch, Madeley, Landsdale, Kingsway, Kingsley, Marangaroo, Alexander Heights, Wangara, Ellenbrook, and others.

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