patient looking in the mirror

Who Are Good Candidates for Dental Implants?

Are you among the many Australians dealing with tooth loss due to damaged teeth or tooth decay? If so, you’re not alone.

Tooth loss is a very common condition. It can negatively impact your oral health and confidence. Fortunately, advances in dental technology have given us an effective long-term solution to tooth loss. A great example is dental implants.

Dental implants have helped countless people reclaim their beautiful smiles and reestablish healthy, functioning teeth. But who exactly makes a good candidate for this procedure?

In this blog post, we’ll explore who benefits the most from dental implants. We’ll also discuss all other important considerations that should be factored into deciding about implant placement.

Keep reading to learn more about whether or not you might be considered as one of the candidates for dental implants!

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are increasingly becoming the dental restoration treatment of choice, even when compared to other dental treatments such as bridges and dentures.

A dental implant is a long-term fixture that replaces the natural tooth roots of a missing tooth and consists of several parts. The implant is usually titanium and functions like an artificial root.

As per the treatment plan, the titanium implant is surgically placed into the jawbone by a dental professional. The artificial tooth, which looks and functions like a real tooth, is then placed on top of the dental implant.

Dental implants give patients greater peace of mind knowing they have a secure restoration that looks and feels like natural teeth. Additionally, in comparison to traditional dental prostheses, teeth implants:

  • Provide structure, strength and stability to the surrounding teeth and facial structures
  • Offer improved aesthetics
  • Provide convenience
  • Enhances speech and chewing capacity

However, it’s also important to know that dental implants carry the risk of:

Be sure to talk to your dentist about the pros and cons before getting dental implants.

photo of male dentist showing at patient's x ray image in dental office.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?

When it comes to case selection for dental implants, certain criteria need to be considered. A dentist will determine who can undergo dental implant surgery. Generally, ideal candidates for dental implant surgery must:

  • Have healthy teeth and gum tissue, free from active gum disease or periodontal disease

  • Have strong natural bone, good bone volume, and density, with adequate jawbone structure

  • Commit to regularly maintaining their oral health with proper care and dental hygiene. This includes using mouthwash, brushing gently, flossing properly, and having routine checkups and professional cleanings.

  • Not smoking, as smoking and other tobacco products can undermine the success of the implant procedure.

  • Be in good general health. Some systemic medical conditions could impact the outcome of the dental procedure.

Overall, if patients meet these criteria, they are likely to be an ideal case for dental implants.

When Are Dental Implants Not Recommended?

The case selection for dental implants is an important step in the success of the treatment. Although dental implants are a highly successful and popular method to replace missing teeth, there are instances where they may not be recommended.

Dental implants are not suitable for everyone, especially for people who:

  • Are undergoing medical treatments such as chemotherapy
  • Have pre-existing medical conditions such as uncontrolled diabetes and other chronic diseases
  • Take anti-inflammatory medications
  • Have severe mouth and gum disease
  • Are otherwise too unhealthy to go through the treatment safely, such as those undergoing cancer treatment
  • Are heavy smokers
  • Cannot commit to good oral hygiene habits
  • Have an insufficient bone level or density

Your dentist will thoroughly assess your health and evaluate your gums. They’ll do this before deciding if you should undergo oral surgery for dental implants. In cases where patients do not have enough bone density for the implant to hold, a bone graft or sinus lift is necessary.

What Is a Bone Grafting and Sinus Lift?

Bone grafting and a sinus lift are surgical procedures used to improve the bony architecture of dental implants.

A bone graft procedure is done to address bone loss or bone deformities due to the following:

  • Trauma
  • Periodontal disease and gum disease
  • Congenital defects

The bone graft material may be made from donor bone, synthetic bone, or bone from another part of the patient’s own body.

A sinus lift procedure is done when there is insufficient bone to anchor dental implants. In this procedure, the oral surgeon elevates the sinus membrane and places a bone graft beneath it. This creates more healthy bone tissue that can securely hold implants.

Both of these procedures are completed under local anesthesia in an outpatient setting. They have minimal downtime and a quick recovery time for most patients.

If I Am Not Indicated for Dental Implants, What Alternative Treatments Can I Consider?

If a dental implant is not suitable for you, alternative treatments exist. This may include the following:

  • A dental bridge: This fills the gap left by missing teeth using adjacent teeth as anchors.

  • A removable partial denture: This is made of acrylic resin and metal clasps and is often used when multiple teeth are missing.

  • A complete denture: Used to replace an entire arch of teeth, this is also made of acrylic resin and uses suction to keep it in place.

Each alternative has pros and cons, so it’s important to discuss these treatment options with your dentist to decide which one fits your needs.

Final Thoughts

Teeth implants are a great replacement option for many people. However, not everyone is considered a good candidate for dental implants. If you’re missing teeth and considering dental implants, the first step is to schedule a consultation with your dentist.

During your consultation, your dentist will take dental X-rays and thoroughly examine your teeth. This is to assess whether or not you’re a suitable candidate for dental implants and discuss your tooth replacement options with you.

Don’t wait to start enjoying the benefits of a healthy, natural-looking smile. Not only do dental implants improve your physical appearance, but they help restore function, as well.

Book an appointment for a dental implant consultation at West Perth Dental Centre today to see if you would make a good dental implant candidate!


Dental implants are an extremely effective and durable restorative dentistry solution. There are different kinds to meet different needs.

  • Single tooth implants:
    These replace a single missing tooth with an implant post and a prosthetic tooth such as a dental crown.

  • Implant-supported bridges:
    These are used to replace two or more missing teeth; the bridge is held in place by implants, which provides greater stability than conventional dental bridges.

  • Implant-supported dentures:
    These offer security for those who have several or even a full arch of missing teeth. Unlike traditional dentures that can slip around due to insufficient support and retention, implant-supported dentures securely attach to the jawbone and provide more chewing power.

  • All-on-4 dental implants:
    These involve placing four dental implant posts into the jawbone and are a viable alternative for those who don’t have adequate bone density in their jaw.

The answer is not all-encompassing. While all dentists could theoretically provide dental implant treatments, post-qualification training is necessary to acquire the skills needed. It’s important to check that the dentist you choose has all the necessary credentials and training before undergoing a dental implant procedure.

This will depend on several factors, such as:

  • The type of procedure being done
  • The complexity of the case
  • Preferences of both the patient and the dental practitioner

Generally speaking, most dental implant procedures can be carried out comfortably with just a local anaesthetic. Sedation may be recommended for particularly anxious patients or extensive treatments.

An experienced dentist should always discuss this option with you before starting treatment.

The length of time that a dental implant procedure takes can vary greatly depending on the complexity of the treatment and how many implants are being placed.

The procedure for placing a tooth implant usually occurs in a three-phase dental implant process. First, the titanium dental implant is surgically placed into the jaw bone. After that, it can take several months for the surrounding bone to fuse to the implant. During this time, patients will be given a temporary restoration while they await their prostheses.

Generally speaking, dental implant treatment requires several appointments over several weeks or months. There’s also the healing process in between and after surgeries. Your dentist should be able to give you an estimate of how long your treatment will take.

Dr. Michael Wu


Dr. Michael Wu

Dr. Michael Wu holds a Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from the University of Western Australia. He never stops learning and regularly attends post-graduate education seminars, courses, and conferences to ensure he is providing his patients with excellent dental care.

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