Who is dental implant treatment for?

Are you a candidate for a dental implant?

An obvious candidate for a dental implant would be a person who lost a tooth or teeth. One of the requirements is that you are healthy, because there are some diseases and conditions which might exclude you from having a dental implant.

You are not able to have a dental implant if you suffer from:

  • Cancer
  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • Radiation of the jaws
  • Periodontal gum disease

Furthermore, habits such as smoking and alcohol abuse also exclude you from the procedure. In the case of uncontrolled periodontal gum disease, a dental implant could have problems fusing with the bone, which could result in the rejection of the implant. You also need to commit to keeping your mouth and teeth healthy. Frequent, regular visits to the dentist and good oral hygiene are essential for long-term success with dental implants.

It is essential that the dental surgeon is aware of all aspects of the patient’s medical history. The dental surgeon needs to know about all medication a patient is taking, including herbal supplements and any alternative medication, as well as over-the-counter drugs. A patient should not leave anything out – “I don’t think that matters” is not an option here. A detailed assessment of the stomato-gnathic system is required in order to know how and where the dental implant should be placed.

The term stomato-gnathic refers to how the teeth and jaws function and it is a combination of the words stomato which means mouth and gnathic which means jaws. To have such assessment it is necessary to study detailed models of the patient’s mouth and bite. Furthermore, X-rays are needed and there might be the need to do additional 3D scans, called computerized tomograms (CT). All this research and planning gives the dental surgeon the knowledge to place a dental implant exactly in the bone where it should be.
A person is a good candidate for a dental implant if dentures and ordinary bridges are either uncomfortable or impossible to place because of poor ridges, gagging or sores. The dental implant has an advantage over a bridge because it does not need any additional attachment, so there is no need to prepare adjacent teeth.

Expenses are also an issue when it comes to dental implants, because they are significantly more expensive than any other kind of tooth replacement. Usually, insurance companies cover less than 10% of the cost. Your dental surgeon will help in choosing the right option for your dental implant. An implant can be of various size and height; it could be standard or narrow. Which option depends on the tooth or teeth to be replaced. The expert will also determine which of the two types of dental implants should be used, an endosteal implant or a subperiosteal implant.

An Endosteal implant is implanted surgically directly into the jawbone. When the gum tissue has healed, a second surgery is done in which a post is connected to the implant. Finally, an artificial tooth is attached.

The Subperiosteal implants involve a metal frame, which needs to be fitted to the jawbone, below the gums. The frame, with the posts protruding through the gums, fuses with the jawbone while the gums heal and the implants are then put onto the posts.

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