If you have a few gaps in your smile that you would like to fill with dental implants, you should consult with your dentist first. Dental implant placements are practically a science unto themselves. Your dentist wants to make sure that the placement of each implant is just right. Here is why. 

There Has to Be Enough Bone to Support the Screw

Your dentist will want to take x-rays of the areas where you lack teeth. Since bone in your jaw can shrink over time when teeth are missing, your dentist will want to know if there is enough bone left to support the implant screws. If these teeth have not been missing for very long, you have a better chance of getting implants because the bone has not had time to shrink yet. (Shrink in this case refers to the fact that when a tooth is lost, the tooth socket closes up and disappears, and then the bone narrows because there is nothing keeping it from doing so.)

Other Tooth Roots Cannot Be in the Way

There is also the complication of tooth roots. Other teeth surrounding the gaps in your smile may have really large roots or strangely-shaped roots. In either of these cases, installing an implant screw and fitting an implant tooth may be awkward or complicated. That is not to say it cannot be done, only that your dentist will have to manipulate the opening by widening it and attempting to get the problem roots to move out of the way just enough for the implant screw.

Your dentist may also have to make an implant screw smaller than the space it needs to fill. While this still accomplishes the goal of filling the space with an implant, the implant may look a little smaller than the teeth surrounding it. If you are still okay with this, your dentist can make it work.

Inflammation and Infections Have to Be Treated First

Additionally, if there are infections or inflammation of the gums where you have no teeth, these conditions have to be treated prior to your implant surgery. If the infection or inflammation is a result of a problem with a neighboring tooth, this has to be corrected as well, or the problem would travel to the bone and gum tissue surrounding the implant. That is not something you want to deal with after implant surgery. Your dentist will prescribe a course of treatment to prepare your mouth for surgery. Follow it carefully.