Dental implants are revolutionizing how people think about tooth loss, with a system that not only gives you a perfect replica tooth but also places a replacement for its root in your mouth. The question we get most often in our Tampa dental office regards who is a good candidate for dental implants. The answer is quite simple since dental implants are one of those technological advancements virtually anyone can take advantage of. There are always caveats when you have any kind of surgical procedure planned, however, so it is important to note that placing dental implants is a surgical procedure done by a skilled dentist or oral surgeon.
In order to make sure you are healthy enough for dental implants, there are a few conditions that might preclude you from having dental implants placed. These include uncontrolled diabetes, smoking and heavy drinking or alcoholism, radiation treatment if you have cancer or uncontrolled periodontal disease. Any of these can adversely affect the ability of the titanium dental implants from fusing properly with the jawbone, and thus affect how effective the implants might be. It is critical that your dentist have a full understanding of any and all medications you may be taking, regardless of whether they are prescribed or herbal alternatives. The only other condition you should be aware of is bone loss, which we will need to measure to ensure that there is enough bone density to place the dental implants. Bone loss occurs naturally when you have lost one or more teeth.
Dental implants are not only revolutionizing the way people thing about teeth loss but with an amazing 98 percent success rate according to some studies, they are changing how we view dental surgery as well. The success of dental implants does not start with the implant itself, but with the careful preparation and examination we do prior to the implant placement process in our Tampa dental office. Every patient who wants to receive an implant will go through a very thorough examination, which will involve x-rays and a CT scan.
These dental imaging tools tell us how much density the person’s jawbone has and how well it can sustain and support an implant. Often, people who have lost teeth do not have the jawbone density required to properly support the implant, in which case, we will need to perform a graft. For some patients, we will perform an alveolar graft where the graft targets the upper part of the jaw, typically where the teeth are. Some patients require an onlay bone graft to strengthen the jawbone and provide the right amount of density. An onlay graft secures a solid block of bone into which the implant can be securely placed. These procedures are necessary only if your jawbone has suffered deterioration. In patients where the jawbone is untouched by resorption or damage, we can proceed directly to the implant stage, which is known as an immediate implant placement. When you do need a bone graft, the healing time will be around six months before we can proceed to actually placing the implant.