|Am I A Candidate For Dental Implants?
One of the most popular tooth restoration options for patients with missing teeth are dental implants. The team at Dental Prosthodontics of Rochester is experienced with placing dental implants, and many of our patients have found that this is the perfect solution for them. Missing teeth can cause embarrassment, increase the risk of gum disease, and make eating and speaking more difficult.
For anyone who has lost all of their teeth, the only option for replacing them has traditionally been with a full denture. However, that has now all changed, thanks to dental implants which have changed the face of restoration dentistry. Whether you need to replace a single tooth, need multiple teeth replacement, or a full arch dental implant, dental implants can be the right option for you.
Typically, when you replace a single tooth with an implant, the crown is supported by a titanium post. If you have several teeth replaced with implants, each of those replacement crowns has its own post.
Full Arch Dental Implants
The All-on-4® Treatment Concept offers a stable tooth replacement option for individuals who have lost all of their teeth. Find out more about this innovative procedure at Dental Prosthodontics of Rochester where a complete arch of teeth is affixed permanently to just four dental implants.
Dental implants have traditionally been used to replace single missing teeth, but in the 1980s, Dr. Paulo Malo, an implantologist from Lisbon in Portugal pioneered his All-on-4 technique whereby a complete arch of teeth is held in place with four dental implants. Since then, the technique has been taught throughout the world and we are proud to offer it to our patients.
If you are having all of your teeth replaced at once, the All-on-4 Treatment Concept is often used. Your new artificial teeth are created on a single arch instead of being placed individually. Instead of every crown having a post, this arch is supported by the four placed posts.
This method requires far fewer posts to be placed, which makes the surgery easier on you and reduces the recovery time.
Who is Suitable for Implant Restoration?
Good Overall Health
In general, anyone who has good dental health and is in good overall health, may likely be a candidate for dental implants. If you are eligible for surgery, you can most likely get dental implants.
Those Over 18 Years of Age
While patients under the age of 18 cannot have the procedure because their bones are still developing, there is no upper age limit for dental implants. As long as you are generally healthy with no chronic health conditions you are likely to be a good candidate.
Who is Not a Candidate for Dental Implants?
There are some health issues that can cause patients to be disqualified from the treatment. Some of the issues that may be a problem for receiving dental implants include:
Chronic Health Disorders
Some long-term conditions, such as diabetes or blood-clotting disorders may be a problem for the placement of dental implants. If you do have a chronic health concern, it does not necessarily mean you cannot have implants placed, but we will want to be certain your illness is well-managed, so it will not cause an issue for the long-term viability of dental implants.
Bone loss is a common problem, typically caused by advanced gum disease, which in its advanced stages compromises not just the gums, but also the jawbone, causing the teeth to fall out. Bone loss is also a problem if a tooth is lost through trauma because the bone that supports the tooth is stimulated by the biting and chewing forces exerted on the tooth. If the tooth is no longer there, the bone atrophies (the same as if you don't use muscles) but in the case of bone, it becomes reabsorbed and is lost forever.
Bone loss can be prevented with a dental implant shortly after a tooth has been lost to trauma. However, for teeth that have been lost through periodontal disease, you may need a bone graft procedure before your dental implant placement.
It may be possible to place implants for an All-on-4 if there is bone loss, depending on the position and the extent, but if it is too much, a bone graft procedure will still be necessary before the implants can be placed.
Smoking impedes the body's natural ability to heal. This is a problem immediately after implant surgery and could lead to failure of the implants. We suggest you quit smoking, at least during your implant restoration process, to increase your likelihood of a successful implant.
For individuals that clench and grind their teeth (bruxism), whether at night or during the day, are likely not good candidates for receiving dental implants. Bruxism causes weakening, wearing down, and sometimes even shifting of the teeth. Placing dental implants on such compromised teeth would likely not result in a sturdy implant.
It could be possible to get a nightguard and check with the dentist if they feel you could still receive dental implants.
Dental Implantation is a Process
One detail often forgotten is that receiving dental implants is a process. It can take several months, up to a year or more, for the entire procedure.
You must first come in for a consultation to determine if you are a candidate for dental implants. If you are, you will undergo an examination and x-rays to determine the health of your existing teeth and gums.
After a treatment plan is created, you may need to have any decayed teeth extracted.
The implant post(s) will be inserted after your gums have healed from any extractions, or additional procedures that may be needed prior to implantation, such as a bone graft or sinus lift.
Several months are needed for the implant to fuse with the jawbone before the abutment, the connector, can be placed onto the implant.
You will then return to have the dental crown placed on top of the implant.
Follow up visits will be required to check on and maintain the dental implant. Dental implants are a permanent, lifelong, and successful tooth replacement option, but they do require patience.
Find Out if You Are a Candidate for Dental Implants
Speak to our experts at Dental Prosthodontics of Rochester if you want to find out if you are suitable for dental implants by calling us at (585) 673-7702.