Patients often seek out a tooth implant because they want to benefit from the many advantages offered by this tooth replacement treatment. However, certain health conditions may present obstacles to dental implant success if they are left untreated.

A surgical procedure is required to place the dental implants, so the patient must be healthy enough to undergo that surgery from the start. Your oral surgeon will assess you prior to the surgery to make sure that you do not have any health issues, like a fever, that may rule you out as a surgical candidate.

The long-term success of dental implants is influenced by the healing process that takes place after the surgery.

For several months after the surgery, the tooth implant will osseointegrate. That is, it fuses with the bone. Health problems that could compromise osseointegration may reduce dental implant success.

The main issue that can disrupt this process is uncontrolled gum disease. The inflammation present with gum disease can also affect the underlying bone and interfere with osseointegration. As such, gum disease should be treated before patients pursue dental implants.

Certain systemic diseases have been linked to gum disease and may present concerns for patients considering dental implants. For example, uncontrolled diabetes may increase a patient’s risk of developing gum disease. Interestingly, patients with uncontrolled diabetes are more likely to suffer tooth loss and need dental implants.

Patients considering dental implants should have their blood sugar tested before proceeding with the treatment. When the blood sugar levels are within an acceptable range, the patient can move forward with getting implants.

Heart disease and certain head and neck cancers may also affect dental implant success rates, so notify your oral surgeon if you have suffered from either of these problems and are considering implants.

Although it’s not a health condition per se, smoking can also reduce dental implant success, so patients should kick the habit before having their implants placed.

This discussion is not intended to provide a comprehensive overview of all of the medical conditions that may compromise the success of dental implant placement. Contact the office of Dr. Chris Tye to talk about your concerns and to determine if your health problems may interfere with your ability to benefit from dental implants.