Am I a Candidate for Dental Implants?

Before you commit to a specific type of tooth replacement, the first step is to find out if you qualify as a candidate for dental implants. Otherwise, you may be worried about unnecessary costs, decisions, or non-applicable issues that interfere with your smile restoration. Working with an experienced implant dentist can help you rule out numerous factors that stand in the way of achieving a beautiful, healthy smile again.

Our Raleigh implant dentists want you to consider some of these important factors before you make the decision of choosing where to schedule a dental implants consultation:


“I Was Told I Didn’t Qualify for Dental Implants”

Have you already been told that you’re not a candidate for dental implants? Dental implant therapy has significantly evolved over the past several years. Those who may not have qualified for dental implants in the past could find that they’re now actually ideal candidates.

Some of the factors that ruled out implant candidacy were the technology and equipment available to the dentist (paired with your implant provider’s experience.) Basic resources may not have allowed for specific planning, or the dentist had too little firsthand knowledge of how to manage such a situation. Or they possibly had the training but lacked the necessary technological resources to make it a possibility.

But today, 3D dental implant planning and provider experience in implant placement make them available to more people than ever before. And even if you don’t qualify for a specific type of implant treatment (such as mini implants or All-on-4) you probably have other implant alternatives worth considering.


Overall Wellness

Underlying medical conditions and specific types of risk factors may affect your implant candidacy. For instance, do you smoke? If so, smoking can impact the healing and integration that’s required to get your implant to stay in place. Are you diabetic? Is your blood glucose under control? Are you on blood thinners? All of these various health factors will be part of your screening visit to ensure there’s not a chance for treatment failure. We want your implant therapy to be just as successful as you do!

A thorough medical screening is part of every dental implant case. Please be sure to bring a list of any medications (prescription or over the counter) that you’re taking, including dietary supplements. Have you had a recent surgery or been hospitalized? Even if it seems like it’s not applicable, be sure to let your dentist know. Surprisingly enough, there may be special accommodations that have to be arranged, especially when situations like recent joint replacement are applicable.


Stable Bone and Gum Support

In order for dental implants to “work”, you need to have a solid foundation for them to set inside of. Without adequate bone density and gum tissue height, there is nothing to help hold the implant in place.

As part of your dental implant consultation, our Raleigh dentist will take specific X-rays and scans of your mouth to see what’s not visible to the naked eye. Only at that time can we confirm or deny that there is an appropriate location to place the implants.

Fortunately, even if you’ve had bone loss or periodontal disease in the past, you could still qualify for dental implants. Advanced implant techniques and grafting (augmentation) make it possible to adjust the bone in specific areas or to angle an implant in a way that still allows for specific tooth replacement. The key is to work with one of the best, most experienced implant dentists in Raleigh!


Digital Mapping Expands Implant Candidacy


CT scanning allows our Raleigh implant dentists to see a digital 3D version of your overall oral anatomy. Using this advanced technology, it’s possible to virtually map your implant placement and perform a computer guided surgery. The results? Extreme precision, expedited care, and exceptional outcomes!

Beginning to end, the virtual planning process makes your implant placement a possibility even if you might not fit the typical “traditional” implant requirements. And in some cases, it reduces the time span of your overall implant process making it possible to place immediate load provisional restorations (on a case-by-case basis).

When you compare digital mapping to conventional dental X-rays, it’s like apples and oranges. One provides 3D imaging while the other is in a 2D format. Having the extra dimension during your evaluation process ensures that implants are only placed in the most appropriate areas of your bone. If your dentist only has access to digital X-rays, they may have to refer you to a specialist for the actual treatment.


If You Have Missing Teeth

Dental implants are the gold standard when it comes to replacing missing teeth. But if you still have multiple healthy teeth, or worn/decayed teeth that are restorable, please think twice before extracting them to get dental implants. Ideally, we prefer to preserve your natural teeth if at all possible. It reaches beyond the standard of care to remove healthy, stable teeth, even if there are minor concerns.

If you’re already missing teeth, then you’re half-way to qualifying for dental implants.

But what if you have teeth that are still there and are constantly causing problems? There may be some scenarios where removing those teeth is beneficial. For instance, aggressive periodontal disease that causes tooth mobility, or decay that’s overtaken a majority of your tooth structure may be impossible to stabilize. In those instances, it may be the best solution to proactively take those teeth out and then immediately replace them with dental implants.

Although modern implants are the next best thing to natural teeth, the best implant dentists will still want to make it a priority to save your original smile. When that isn’t possible, extracting them is the next step in the standard of care. And when that happens, you’ll probably qualify for dental implants.



Can I Fit Dental Implants into My Budget?


The cost of dental implants plays an important part in determining your candidacy. If a certain treatment just isn’t in your budget, your dentist can always review applicable alternatives so that you can weigh the pros and cons.

How much implants cost depends on how many teeth are missing and the type of implant restoration that you’re getting. For instance, you may only have one tooth that’s missing and need a single implant with a crown. Typically, the price range for such a treatment will be between $3,000-$4,000. Part of it could be covered by your dental insurance. If you’re using a pair of implants to replace up to four teeth at a time, you’re looking at between $10,000-$12,000. Or for full-arch hybrid dental implants (where the entire set of upper or lower teeth are replaced with a fixed, non-removable appliance) it could be between $25,000-$30,000 before insurance kicks in.

Yes, dental implant financing is available! Most of our patients prefer to make affordable payments on their smile makeover. Since we provide access to 0% and low-interest financing, you can easily work your implant therapy into your monthly budget and start on treatment right away.

If you have dental insurance, you can apply your benefits toward your implant therapy and then pay for or finance any of the remaining balance. Working with your dentist one-on-one for a custom treatment plan will give you the specific numbers to crunch so that you can do the math. Implant consultations are never obligatory; they’re simply for you to find out if the treatment is best for your situation, whether physically or financially.

Understanding the price of dental implants in Raleigh and what you’re potentially looking at cost-wise can help you avoid any big surprises or ruling out the treatment before you’ve even talked with your dental provider.

The First Step to Take

If you really want to find out if you qualify for dental implants, you’ll need to physically visit a dentist’s office. Your implant provider will need to visually assess your oral environment, X-rays, scans, etc. Only then is it possible to determine if an implant or some other prosthesis is best for your smile.

Rest assured that your implant consultation will not obligate you to move on to the treatment phase. Both you and your implant provider need to ensure that you qualify for the procedure. It’s similar to the free consultations for orthodontics or Invisalign that you frequently see. Everyone needs to be on the same page. If you look hard enough you can find anyone who is willing to do anything. But that may not always be the best thing to do for your health. Instead choose an oral health provider who involves you as an active part of the co-planning process.

Choosing Your Implant Dentist

People who are concerned about whether they qualify for dental implants may do best to select a fairly experienced implant provider. When your dentist has extensive experience and training in various types of implant therapy, there’s a greater chance that they can assist you in more unique situations.

At Raleigh Dental Arts, we provide a wide range of implant treatments. From single tooth replacement to full-arch hybrid implants, we’re one of the top implant providers in the Raleigh area!

Find out if implants are right for you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and find out more about what you can expect.

Tarun Agarwal

Dr. Tarun Agarwal, DDS is considered one of the top dentists in the country. He is a recognized speaker, author, and dental leader. He has been featured on CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, and News 14 Carolina. Dr. Agarwal has been awarded '40 under 40' Business Leaders by the Triangle Business Journal. He is regularly invited to teach other dentists around the world and recently built a training center within the practice dedicated to sharing his expertise. Most importantly he is a loving husband and dedicated father of three wonderful children. His biggest accolade was being voted 'Best Dad in the World' by 2 of his 3 kids.