Who Are Good Candidates for Dental Implants?
By Chetan Patil, DDS PhD on December 13, 2016
Tooth loss can lead to a number of problems in terms of smile aesthetics and overall dental health. You may find it hard to eat your favorite foods, and smiling may be a new source of self-consciousness, even around family members and old friends. Thankfully there are dental implants, a great solution for people missing teeth.
Countless patients at our practice have expressed interest in implant dentistry. We'd like to go over some of the basics of dental implants and then discuss who is an ideal candidate for treatment.
About Dental Implants
Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that are surgically embedded into the jawbone and gum tissue where a tooth is missing. When placed, the posts of the implants fuse with the living tissues of the mouth, becoming a part of the dental arch. This is known as osseointegration. Once osseointagration has occurred, dental implants are able to support bridges, dentures, and even individual dental crowns.
General Candidates for Dental Implants
Good candidates for dental implants are people who are missing a tooth or multiple teeth who would like a fixed appliance to fill the gap left behind. They should be in good health overall and not suffer from medical conditions that would make oral surgery a potential health risk.
Sufficient Jawbone and Gum Tissue
Since dental implants are anchored into the patient's bone and gum structure, it's important that patients have healthy and dense hard tissue and soft tissue in the area of a tooth gap. Of course, bone loss and gum recession are common after losing a tooth, which means that sufficient tissue may not be in place.
If a patient does not have sufficient jawbone or gum tissue present, it's possible to undergo a soft tissue or hard tissue augmentation procedure. These grafting surgeries will build out the necessary tissue that will allow patients to get dental implants.
Ideal for Varying Degrees of Tooth Loss
Dental implants can help people who are missing a tooth or multiple teeth. Thanks to modern approaches to implant dentistry, these artificial tooth roots are able to support individual dental crowns, dental bridges, partial dentures, and even full dentures. Multiple implant configurations can be used to ensure ideal hold.
Realistic Patient Expectations
Even though dental implants are highly effective, patients need to have realistic expectations about the treatment process. This is especially true of healing and recovery given the time involved. An understanding of the cost of oral surgery and proper oral hygiene and dietary changes in the first days and weeks after surgery is crucial.
Alternatives to Dental Implants
If you are not an ideal candidate for dental implants, there are plenty of other options to consider to have a healthy and beautiful smile. This includes the use of traditional bridges and dentures, or perhaps a fixed bridge that is secured by dental crowns.
We'd be more than happy to assess your situation and discuss all viable treatments in greater detail during your visit to our practice. We can answer all of your questions and address your concerns. Our goal is to offer you the necessary information to make a confident choice about your treatment options.
Learn More About Implant Dentistry
For more information about dental implants and how they can help you smile with confidence, be sure to contact our cosmetic and restorative dental care practice. We will happy to answer your questions and address your concerns.
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“Dr. Patil and his staff could not be more professional. They take the time to talk to you and explain what will be done. I am constantly surprised at how little pain is associated with the procedures they perform.” Jack T.