Who is a good candidate for Dental Implants?
Dental implants are ideal for everyone with sufficient bone to support a Dental implant. Most importantly, one should have good oral health. Those who have lost teeth due to periodontal disease, injury or decay are also candidates. Dental implants need to have healthy gums and adequate bone to support the implant. If you smoke and or have certain medical conditions such as diabetes then special care is needed. Either way, a thorough evaluation and consultation will determine whether dental implants are right for you.
What if I just need one tooth replaced?
One of the most successful uses of dental implants is for single tooth replacement. Teeth can be lost for a variety of reasons. Replacing them with a dental implant is the way to go.
Traditionally, when one tooth was missing, a fixed bridge was done. This involves the grinding down of adjacent teeth to support the bridge. Unfortunately, many times theses teeth are sound good teeth. It’s a shame to grind them down to “stubs”.
Also, a huge problem in the past with bridges is that they can develop decay and gum disease disease at the supporting teeth which eventually causes the loss of these teeth. Also, cleaning below & around a bridge is difficult and in some cases impossible.
As seen in the following x-rays…
The supporting teeth usually develop large cavities and need to be extracted. So with bridges, not only do you bring perfectly good teeth into the equation by grinding them down, but you may eventually loose them. That is a huge loss for something that does not need to happen. Dental Implants resolve this problem in such a beautiful way!
The following x-rays show the ideal treatment for a single missing tooth, In this case where there was a large infection:
It should be noted, firstly that bone grafting was performed to preserve the socket and secondly the patient had crowns on the teeth adjacent to the extracted tooth. If a bridge were to be done it would be at a great expense as now the perfectly good adjacent crowns would have to be replaced to accept the new bridge.
In this case a Dental Implant is the ideal choice after an extraction:
As one can see, an implant is placed at the site of the extracted/missing tooth. What should also be understood is that implants do not rely on neighbouring teeth for support. They are actually more tooth-saving than traditional bridgework.
Can dental Implants supported crowns and bridges?
In the cases where there are long spans between teeth and it would too costly or inoperable to place Dental Implants for each missing tooth, a dental bridge supported by Dental Implants is a better choice. Since Dental Implants are not biodegradable, as exposed natural roots, they are not subject to breakdown by sugars. Furthermore; healthy bone around Dental Implants can be maintained with proper oral care. And, with regular dental maintenance the resulting dental work will last longer without the complications of traditional dental bridge work.
Can Dental Implants be used where one already wears dentures?
Perhaps the most life altering use of Dental Implants is with dentures and removable partials. Traditional Dentures are notorious for being both uncomfortable and extremely unstable. They irritate the gums and have a tendency to fall out in the worst of times. Due to embarrassment social settings, such as dining out at restaurants, loose dentures cause individuals to curtail or stop their social life all together. Partials dentures also place stress on the remaining supporting teeth. With time these teeth are lost as well.
Implants are literally a Godsend to denture wearers. Implants provide a lock-in mechanism for the dentures whereby it is almost impossible for the denture to come loose. Also, since the denture sits on the implants themselves there is virtually no irritation to the gums. An added bonus of Dental Implant retained upper dentures is that the entire palatal aspect can be eliminated, thereby creating greater comfort and regaining the tastes and enjoying food once more, since the palate is now uncovered.
What’s the big deal with losing a tooth?
Those who lose teeth many times become self-conscious. Their whole social status is affected by the loss of teeth, especially when it is a front tooth. People feel shame and embarrassment, often hiding their smile in social situations. Nobody likes looking like a “crack head”. Dental Implants can regain their confidence and restore the natural functioning dentition.
Is it really necessary to replace missing teeth?
When teeth are extracted the bone which supported the roots will no longer be needed and therefore begin to vanish. Bone needs to be stimulated in order for it to stay healthy and present. This is another reason where Dental Implants play a major role. Replacing missing teeth with Dental Implant will also maintain the bone complex needed to maintain a patient in health. In the past, loss of teeth meant the remaining teeth have to distribute the burden of the biting force. With time, this causes shifting of the remaining teeth and eventually loss of more teeth. This single fact affects the overall health of an individual. With the loss of tooth in the mouth, Dental implants are a great way to preserve bone structure and maintain facial appearance and prevent shifting of teeth. Digestion is also effected causing gas and other digestive issues because digestion of foods starts in the mouth.
What are some of the reasons for Implant failure?
Most healthy adults are candidates for dental implants. However, persistent smokers and those with uncontrolled chronic diseases or systemic problems may not be good candidates for this procedure. Smoking impedes healing in the mouth and can reduce the likelihood that implants will integrate with bone. People with controlled diabetes, due to poor healing problems, are not good candidates for Dental implants as well. Those being treated for osteoporosis and use bio-phosphates also pose a challenge.
How do I know I am a good candidate for Dental Implants?
A dental consultation is the first step in evaluating if Dental Implants are right for you. A full mouth exam should be performed with a complete medical and dental history. If Dental Implants are right for you, a CT scan will give us a good idea of your bone density and the shape of your jaw.
With this information we can determine the size and type of dental Implant that will be best for you. Finally, we’ll discuss the options available to you. As with all major dental procedures, one must commit to an ongoing oral hygiene regimen with regular dental visits: this will ensure a life-long trouble free smile.
To get started just call your Dental professional or call us at 212-706-8289
Dental Implants Q & A
My father uses dentures. He stopped going out to restaurants with family and friends because he’s embarrassed that his dentures will fall out. Can dental implants help him?
Your father is not alone with this problem. There are millions of Americans over the age of 50 who wear some kind of dental prosthesis which hinders their everyday life. Implants are an amazing way to give them back their dignity, function and self esteem. Although originated for single tooth replacement, dental implants are making a greater impact on these individuals as it allows them to speak, eat and socialize with confidence knowing that their that their prosthesis is secure and will never fall out.