Am I Eligible for a Dental Implant?

Categories: Dental Implants

dental implantsSanta Cruz, Scotts Valley CA

A missing tooth or a tooth that needs to be extracted because of decay can be a source of embarrassment. Thankfully, advancements in technology have led our cosmetic dental practice in Santa Cruz to be able to offer a revolutionary permanent replacement option for missing teeth. Known as dental implants, during the procedure, our dentist surgically implants a titanium post into the jawbone of the patient, at the site of the missing tooth. This post immediately begins stimulating the jawbone no differently than a natural tooth root, which is critical in maintaining a healthy jawbone. The implant is capped with a custom-made dental crown that matches surrounding teeth in form and function.

We highly recommend dental implants to replace missing teeth at our Scotts Valley dentist’s office. But occasionally, a person isn’t an ideal candidate for implants. Why are some patients better suited than others for this particular treatment? Let’s take a look today.

Am I a good candidate for dental implants?

If you are missing a tooth or need one extracted, our implant dentist in Los Gatos will evaluate you for dental implant replacement. Candidates for implants should be at least 18 years old and in good overall physical health.

What may disqualify someone for implants?

Tobacco use Sometimes, smokers are not ideal candidates for dental implants. Nicotine can interfere with the healing process involved with implants, and this can compromise the implants or cause them to completely fail.

Radiation Patients who are undergoing radiation treatment of the head and/or neck may be advised to explore other tooth replacement options. 

Poor oral health Another consideration for dental implants is the state of the patient’s oral health. Implants rely heavily on a healthy jawbone, so gum disease, for instance, can jeopardize the success of an implant.

Neither tobacco use nor gum disease necessarily precludes a patient from being a candidate for dental implants. However, our dentist will recommend that a patient cease the use of tobacco products and treat any active oral infections before starting the implant procedure.

What if I don’t have enough jawbone?

Implants need a healthy jawbone to hold and stabilize them. Unfortunately, patients who have gone some time with missing teeth will also be missing jawbone because the body has started reabsorbing the bone. Our dentist may recommend bone augmentation (a bone graft), sinus lift or ridge expansion to provide a stable foundation for implants. These procedures often are performed by an oral surgeon before our dentist places the implant(s).


Dental implants offer a long-term, permanent solution for missing teeth, leaving a patient feeling confident and elated with his or her new smile. If you have missing teeth or need a tooth (or multiple teeth) extracted, reach out to our dental team at Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry. Our implant dentist in Scotts Valley will assess your oral situation and recommend the best treatment option for you and your smile. Call us at (831) 824-5111 to schedule a consultation today.