Three Things That Make People Ineligible For Dental Implants
Dental implant placement is a relatively safe procedure with a 98 percent success rate. Because of this, it's fairly easy to think anyone can have it done. In reality, there are certain physiological and mental health conditions that can make dental implant placement unsafe for people who have them. Here are three things that make people ineligible for dental implants.
Heart Disease and Related Conditions
Any condition that affects how the heart functions will make any dentist proceed with caution when determining if a patient is a good candidate for dental implants. However, there are three specific conditions where dental implants are absolutely contraindicated:
- Valvulopathy (valvular heart disease): This general term describes any condition or disease that affects the heart valves, which control the flow of blood in and out of the heart. The concern is, if the person gets an infection as a result of the dental implant, the bacteria could get into the blood stream and damage the heart valves further and possibly cause failure.
- Recent cardiac infarction: A person who suffered a heart attack in the months prior to consulting with a dentist about implants is typically immediately ineligible because of the damage the heart may have sustained during the event. The stress of getting implants and possibility of infection could lead to a second cardiac event.
- Cardiomyopathy: This is a condition that affects the heart's ability to contract, leading to heart failure. People with this condition have a higher risk of experiencing irregular heart rates and sudden cardiac arrest.
Diseases and Conditions that Affects Bone Growth
For dental implants to work properly, they must integrate firmly into the jawbone. If the implant can't integrate securely into the bone, it may fall out or let bacteria get into the area and cause an infection. Therefore, any condition that affects bone health and growth would make a person ineligible for dental implants.
The exception would be if the condition was transient and the patient's bone health is expected to return to normal at a later date. Even then, though, the person wouldn't be able to get implants until their bones returned to normal.
Some diseases that would disqualify a person for dental implants include:
- Osteomalacia – A condition where the bones soften because of poor bone mineralization, too little phosphate and calcium, or leaching of calcium from the bones.
- Paget's disease – A chronic disorder that causes misshapen and/or enlarged bones due to excessive bone remodeling.
- Brittle bone syndrome – A congenital disorder that causes a person's bones to be more fragile and prone to breaking.
- Active bone cancer
- Patients going through chemo or radiation therapy – These treatments can inhibit bone growth and even cause a loss of bone density.
- Patients with osteoporosis who are being treated with bisphosphonates – These medications can cause osteonecrosis of the jaw and negatively impact healing from surgery or other trauma.
Some Mental Health Conditions
In general, mental health diseases and disorders don't have a direct impact on a person's physical health. However, a patient who has a mental health issue that makes it difficult or impossible for the individual to properly take care of the dental implant may not be a good candidate for the procedure.
For example, a person with severe obsessive compulsive disorder may engage in counterproductive behaviors, such as brushing and flossing too much or too hard, that either damages the implant or causes it to fail completely.
Along with the patient's oral health, the dentist will typically evaluate the person's capacity for following directions and properly caring for the implant. If it appears the patient is unable to perform necessary tasks and doesn't have a caretaker who can assist with the aftercare, then the dentist may refuse to do the procedure on him or her.
If you have a medical or mental health condition that you're not sure will impact your ability to get dental implants, discuss the issue with a trusted dentist.