With some teeth missing, you may feel uneasy about laughing or smiling. You might also be concerned about problems with your remaining teeth because of shifting over time. Dental implants can seem like an attractive solution, and talking to your dentist about them is a great idea. However, it could be surprising to learn that not everyone is given the go-ahead for implants; you must be in good health and meet certain criteria. If you're curious about what you can do to prepare yourself and be approved for implants, use these tips.

Build Up Your Bones

Part of the reason that dental implants are such a great way to replace missing teeth is that they are effectively drilled down into your mouth with what is usually a screw made of titanium. Because of that, most implants are sturdy and unlikely to become loose. In order for you to be approved for implants, you'll need to prove that your jawbone is able to withstand the installation process. To do this, your dentist or oral surgeon is going to do a bone density analysis. This will give them an idea of how strong your bones, including the jawbone, are. If your bone density is considered to be too low, you may need to delay any implants.

You can work toward strong bones by paying attention to your vitamin D levels and your calcium levels. Both of these substances build up the strength of your bones. Your diet can include them--dairy foods are a good source of both--but you might also be able to take tablet or liquid supplements. If you do so, notify both your primary doctor and your dentist. Your bone density can be reassessed in a few months.

Give Up Cigarettes

It's no secret that cigarettes pose a lot of health risks to your respiratory system, but they can also be terrible for dental health too. For people who are hoping to get dental implants, cigarettes can be particularly problematic because smoking can interfere with the way your gums heal after implants are put in. Smoking is related to sluggish circulation and less flow of oxygenated blood to your healing gums, which in turn could affect how well the implant settles in. Giving up the habit can make things easier.

Making yourself healthy and ready for dental implants can help move the process along more quickly when you're ready to talk about it with your dentist. Ask a dental professional like Byron Scott for more information to find out if implants are a solid fit for you.