Dental implants are the latest technology in tooth replacement. They can replace anywhere from one tooth to a full arch of teeth. Dental implants can restore the natural appearance and function of your teeth, providing a replacement option that can last lifetime.
Are you a candidate for dental implants? A simple evaluation can determine whether or not dental implants are the right tooth replacement solution for you.
What is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that must be surgically placed in the jaw bone. It is a titanium post that is threaded like a screw to help it stay securely in place. Titanium is a biocompatible metal that fuses with the jaw bone through a process called osseointegration. This is the same material used in joint replacement such as hips.
After the implant is placed in the jaw it will be given time to heal and bond, which can take a few months. The next step is to attach the abutment, the part that connects to the prosthetic, whether it’s a crown, bridge, or denture. One implant can support a crown, two implants can support a bridge, and 4-6 implants can support a full arch denture.
What Makes Someone a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?
An ideal candidate for dental implants is someone who has one or more severely decayed or damaged teeth that can’t be saved but are still in the mouth. The reason for this is that once a tooth is missing, the bone for that tooth will start to weaken and break down, eventually dissolving altogether. That means the jaw bone won’t be able to support a dental implant. If the teeth are still in place, this process of resorption has not yet begun.
However, even someone who has one or more missing teeth that have been out of place for a long period may still be a good candidate for dental implants. A comprehensive evaluation of the bone of the jaw will determine whether or not there is enough bone available to support an implant and planned tooth replacement. The evaluation includes a thorough medical assessment as well as general dental analysis to maximize implant predictability.
Can Anyone Be a Candidate for Dental Implants?
If you have one or more teeth that have been missing for a significant amount of time, you may not be a candidate for a dental implant–yet. You may simply need some preparatory procedures first. There are ways to fortify and regenerate the jaw bone to make it thick enough to support an implant. These procedures include:
- Bone graft. A bone graft procedure involves placing a bone under the gum tissue on top of the existing bone. It not only thickens the bone, but it triggers regeneration of the bone tissue. Regeneration takes a few months, after which a dental implant can be placed.
- Sinus lift. When a dental implant is needed in the back of the upper jaw, the sinus may not allow enough vertical height to support an implant unless the position of the sinus is changed. The sinus is like a balloon. The sinus (“balloon”) can be moved to give the additional height without disrupting the sinus at all.
These procedures can make it possible for someone who is not an ideal candidate for dental implants, to become a good candidate.
Progressive Periodontics & Implant Dentistry Provides Implants
If dental implants are the best tooth replacement option for you, Progressive Periodontics & Implant Dentistry can provide you with the procedures you need for dental implant restoration. After a simple evaluation, we can determine whether or not you are ready to receive dental implants or if you need some preparation first. We believe in the benefits of dental implants and recommend them highly for those patients who would benefit from this amazing procedure to replace missing or compromised teeth..
Contact us today to learn more and schedule an appointment.