Male model for dental implants.

Many patients and dental professionals prefer dental implants as the most natural-looking option to restore lost teeth. However, while most patients are good candidates for dental implants, certain medical conditions can complicate the procedure

The skilled surgical team at OMSNashville strives to ensure all patients undergoing procedures like dental implant placement are medically qualified for the surgery to achieve the optimal outcome. 

You can take steps to qualify for dental implants even if you have an existing medical condition.

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants restore the look, feel, feel, and function of your bite after losing teeth. In addition, their tooth-like modeling offers a secure, natural replacement for your original teeth. 

An oral and maxillofacial surgeon installs dental implants into your jawbone to replace the root of the tooth lost with your original tooth. Over time, they fuse with your jawbone in a process called osseointegration. 

Once the implant and the jawbone fuse, your surgeon will attach a crown to the top of the abutment. The implant and crown together restore the appearance and operations of your tooth.

What Medical Conditions Affect Implants?

Dental implants are an appealing option when you are missing teeth. They offer a permanent solution that matches your natural teeth so effectively that you can forget they are implants. 

However, some medical conditions need to be resolved or stabilized for the safe installation of your dental implants and to allow them to continue to support your oral health successfully.

Gum Disease

Healthy gums are among the critical requirements for dental implant candidacy. Gum disease is an inflammatory condition that infects and attacks your gum tissue and the jawbone. 

Unresolved gum disease can cause the integration of your jawbone with the dental implant to fail. Therefore, your dentist or oral surgeon must treat your gums before placing your dental implants. 

Depending on the severity, your gum disease may take time to treat. However, once it is resolved, you can confidently install dental implants. 


Bruxism, or teeth grinding, is a frequently overlooked unconscious behavior that puts immense pressure and strain on the teeth and jaw. Bruxism often happens while sleeping, so patients can struggle to stop it. Chronic bruxism may result from stress, poor bite alignment, or previous tooth loss. 

Unfortunately, bruxism can increase the failure of dental implants, as the strain of teeth grinding can negatively affect the osseointegration process. However, there are treatment options that can reduce the occurrence of bruxism and the level of stress the practice puts on the teeth. 

Bruxism solutions include night guards, medications, or Botox injections to temporarily stop the muscles from constricting. 

Jawbone Loss

Atrophy or deterioration of the jawbone can stem from tooth loss, medical conditions, and gum disease. In addition, jawbone loss can lead to issues with the remaining teeth and distortion of your facial features as the jaw recedes. 

To install your dental implants, your surgeon needs to have enough bone for the implant to take root. Patients with extensive jawbone loss will likely require a dental bone graft to rebuild the jawbone before the implant installation. 

You should bring concerns about jawbone atrophy to your dental professional immediately.

Low Sinuses

The sinuses sit behind the cheeks and above the upper teeth. Some of your natural teeth roots extend up toward the sinuses. However, when those teeth are gone, the bone left behind can be thin and lack the substance to place an implant. 

In these circumstances, a sinus lift surgery may be appropriate to prepare for upper jaw implants. A sinus lift requires bone grafting to create adequate space to place an implant. While needing the procedure can delay your dental implant surgery, it dramatically increases the osseointegration success.


Hypertension, or high blood pressure, requires your body to work harder to sustain blood flow. Patients with hypertension may find their blood pressure climbing even higher with the anxiety of undergoing a dental procedure. 

If you have hypertension, you can still receive dental implants. However, you must tell your oral and maxillofacial surgeon about any medications you take regularly. 

Certain anesthesia medications can aggravate high blood pressure, but there are measures your surgeon can take to control those effects. 

You should discuss your medications and dosage with your surgical team before receiving implants and create a plan for medication management during and after your procedure.


Dental implants are safe for patients with well-controlled diabetes. The installation and fusion have the same low complication rate for patients with controlled diabetes as patients without diabetes. 

However, since diabetes can slow healing time, your surgeon may want to schedule further follow-up appointments to ensure the jawbone is fusing to the implants appropriately. 

Additionally, patients with uncontrolled diabetes have higher rates of implant failure and post-procedure infection. Therefore, your surgeon will require your diabetes to be well-managed before, during, and after your procedure.

Poor Habits and Oral Health

You must be in good health for your dental implant procedure to restore your teeth successfully. Unfortunately, lifestyle habits like smoking, alcoholism, and recreational drugs can negatively impact the success of your dental implant procedure. 

In addition, patients who lack good oral hygiene or who have limited capability to practice good oral hygiene due to medical concerns or movement impairments will need to find a sustainable way to improve their oral health.

A thorough dental examination and cleaning, as well as tips and advice from your dentist, can begin your path to optimal oral health and candidacy for dental implants.

Learn If Dental Implants Are Right for You at OMSNashville

While most patients seeking dental implants are good candidates, some conditions must be resolved or stabilized before undergoing a dental implant procedure. 

The skilled team of board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeons at OMSNashville and our nine Tennessee offices specialize in understanding the medical conditions that can affect the success of your dental implants and resolving concerns before the surgery. 

Learn more about dental implants and procedures to ready you for your implants, like bone grafting offered at OMSNashville today.