Dental implants have come to be instrumental components of a variety of dental treatments, ranging from replacing single teeth to bridges to dentures. Whether a patient is missing a single tooth, a few teeth or a whole mouth of teeth, implants have become an invaluable smile restoration and life-enhancing dental treatment option.
As great as dental implants are and the wide variety of dental treatments they can and are used in, they are not the best option for every patient. A certain level of oral health has to be present for a patient to be a candidate for implants.
How do you tell a patient if he or she is a great candidate for dental implants? It is first helpful to explain to him or her what dental implants are and who is a good candidate for them.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are tiny, metal screws that are inserted into the jaws. They usually have a crown (false tooth) affixed to the top of the metal screw (called a post). The metal post is typically made of titanium because of the metal’s biocompatibility properties. A small fixture, called an abutment is attached to the top of the post on which the crown then sits. The abutment is what keeps the crown on the post.
There are two types of dental implants: the ones that are inserted into the jaw bone and those that are attached to the jaw bone. The implants inserted into the jaw bone are the most common types of implants.
Who is a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?
As most dental implants are inserted into the jaw bones, a person with strong, healthy and substantial bone in their jaws is a great candidate for dental implants. Implants also penetrate the gums, meaning that the ideal candidate will have healthy gum tissue, preferably gums free of any level of gum disease. The gums will have to quickly heal after being penetrated by the implants. Gum disease, particularly periodontitis, can severely damage the tissue of the gum and reduce the amount and strength of the bone tissue of the jaws.
All in all, the patient who is perfect for implants will be one that takes great care of his or her oral health and has healthy jaws and gums.
Because a certain level of bone density and gum health are required, implants are usually not recommended for patients who don’t take great care of their oral health, smoke, have an underlying medical condition such as diabetes that can negatively impact their oral health, are older (especially older women who may have lost bone density through menopause), or have had some form of gum disease.
For those who are candidates for implants, there are many permanent and semi-permanent dental treatment options available now than what was available in the past.
There are patients who put-off, delay or even refuse to visit a dentist because they know they need dentures. With the advancement in dental technology, Arrowhead Dental Laboratory can give you and your staff the training and products to enable you to put patients at ease and offer both snap-on and all-on-four denture alternatives to the dreaded traditional dentures. Contact us today to learn more about our dental training and dental product manufacturing.