Who May Not Be Suitable for Dental Implants? | Smile Stories

Who May Not Be Suitable for Dental Implants?

who may not be suitable for dental implants

Dental implants are the gold standard when replacing lost teeth, and they can be truly life changing. They’re a fixed solution and will allow you to eat and chew your food without worrying about a loose denture popping out at a restaurant.

In an ideal world, if a tooth is lost then you’d replace it with an implant. This will stop unwanted tooth movements, loss of jawbone and ensure that you can function and smile as normal.

But are there times when dental implants are not possible and cases where they may not be suitable?

Smile Stories has placed thousands of implants, so let’s look at instances where we may need to think about it.

Gum disease

You can’t have dental implants if you have active gingivitis or periodontitis. Gum disease causes bleeding and swollen gums and can lead to jawbone loss if left untreated. This could mean there’s not enough bone left for the implant to cushion into. The solution would be to treat the gum disease first, and then fit the implant once your mouth is healthy. A happy and healthy mouth with a history of gum disease is perfectly acceptable for treatment.

Weak immune system

As you probably know, having a weak immune system means you’re more at risk of infection. You may still be able to have implants, but this depends on the severity of your condition. At Smile Stories, our implant dentists will work to understand your medical history and help determine if you’re suitable for dental implants. Every person and condition is different, and this is determined on an individual basis.


Diabetes can cause wounds to heal slower and puts you at a higher risk of infection, making you more susceptible to conditions like gum disease. A dental implant in your mouth therefore puts you at risk of increased infection if your diabetes isn’t under control.  

Smile Stories have placed many implants in diabetic clients with great success, carefully managed by our world-class implant dentists. Ensure your diabetes is under control and you have immaculate oral hygiene and you’ll be just fine.


This is clenching/grinding/gritting your teeth subconsciously, usually tormenting your partner during the night. Natural teeth have a cushion around them and can cope with the pressure, but dental implants may not, unless the rest of your mouth is accounted for.

Often bruxists will have signs of wear on other teeth, and this wear may need to be treated at the same time as placing the dental implant. By rebuilding your mouth, it’ll mean your teeth bite as nature intended and the implant will be placed with success.

Another option is to create bite protectors to wear at night. These will take the pressure off the implant and ensure it’s successful.


Age alone isn’t an issue; however, as we age, the risk of our facial bone structure deteriorating increases, which can mean some people don’t have enough bone to cushion an implant. If you lose a tooth, we always advise an implant sooner rather than later as the bone will be healthy.


We all know smoking isn’t ideal for most health-related matters. It doesn’t completely rule out dental implants, but smoking is known to interfere with the healing process, which can mean you’re at greater risk of post-operative infection, and we want to minimise the chances of that! Ideally, if you need dental implants and you’re a smoker, you’d stop, but we know it’s never that easy. Smoking comes with health risks, and we’ll need to accept there is a higher chance the dental implant may fail.

Jawbone quality

This is the biggest factor determining if you may not be suitable for dental implants. It’s like planting a tree when there’s not soil in the ground. Quite simply, you need to have bone for an implant to sit in.

Loss of bone can occur due to gum disease and trauma and will occur naturally after a tooth is lost. As a general rule, the longer you leave a space the more jawbone will disappear, meaning it’s less likely you’ll be suitable for a dental implant.

Hope is not completely lost if you don’t have enough jawbone to place a dental implant. Our implant dentists in Bournemouth are highly trained in restoring bone in these areas using grafts.

The crux of it

As you’ve read, there are a lot of grey areas when it comes to someone’s suitability for dental implants. Every person at Smile Stories is treated as an individual. We’ll be honest and upfront about whether you’re suitable for implants, but we’d need to see you for a full consultation before we do that.

Smile Stories is a Cosmetic and Implant Clinic in Bournemouth. We’re a modern dental clinic and do things like you’d expect in 2022 We offer complimentary Bespoke Confident Smile Reports and online Video Consultations, meaning you can learn a little more about implants without having to commit to time and money at the clinic.

Alternatively, Give us a bell on 01202 513292, send us a Whatsapp, or if email is more your thing, you can reach us at hello@smilestories.co. We’re a friendly bunch, promise.

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