Who is a candidate for dental implants?
Dental implants have dramatically changed dental restoration, instead of simply replacing missing teeth, we can restore them. Missing teeth can be both frustrating when chewing and problematic for our oral health. We can help patients have fully functional restored teeth that will look and feel like your own. Though most of our patients are candidates for this procedure, we may have to assist patients in boosting their ability to heal before surgery. Our team at Kelly Smile Dentistry is happy to work with you and your primary care physician to help you be physically in the right place to have the greatest chance of success.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are the surgical implantation of a dental device that rebuilds the foundation of a tooth, meaning we can give you a tooth that is independently in place, and it will function and feel like a natural tooth. The implant itself is a titanium metal rod; it resembles a screw in both shape and size. Implants come in a variety of widths and lengths depending on the prosthetic device being placed over the implant following implantation.
The surgical placement of dental implants is a minimally invasive procedure that can be successfully performed on most patients, even those who are medically delicate. Most treatments are performed using only a local anesthetic, or with conscious sedation, they are rarely given general anesthesia or unconscious, and any anesthesia will be discussed with the patient before treatment.
The most important factor in the implant process is the patient’s ability to heal following surgery. For implantation to be successful, we need adequate tissue and proper bone healing. The bone healing is vital to the success of treatment. The implant is surgically placed into the bone, and then we rely on a natural healing process known as osseointegration, or the fusing of bone and metal, to occur. Patients who have decreased healing abilities are not candidates for surgery.
Healing and Surgery
The ability to heal timely is important following implants being placed. This means that any patient with a decreased ability to heal will need to have that reversed before treatment. Patients with lower healing ability can include patients with diabetes, patients who smoke tobacco, patients undergoing cancer treatment, or due to certain medications. With all of these conditions, we can review your specific needs and discuss adjustments with you or your physician before treatment to increase your healing rate.
Besides your natural ability to heal, we do take other steps that have been proven to increase healing, namely using the patient’s white blood cells after they have been in a centrifuge vastly increasing their numbers. We will review this and other steps with you at your consultation. Dental implants have a very high rate of success for a majority of people who have them, in fact, they have been the most successful of all dental restorations in long-term studies. We are happy to discuss treatment for your specific needs.