Am I A Candidate for Dental Implants?

Dental implants are the finest quality tooth replacement option, making them popular for those missing one or more teeth. The aesthetic and functional benefits of dental implants can last a lifetime.

Consider dental implants if you need cosmetic or restorative work done on your teeth. A Palm Harbor, FL cosmetic dentist uses the following criteria to decide whether or not to treat a patient. 

The Science Behind Implant Teeth 

You need to know what dental implants are and how they function to determine if you are a good candidate for them. During oral surgery, a dental implant replaces a natural tooth root in the jawbone. Made of titanium, the screw-like implant has threads that promote bone fusion. An artificial tooth can be secured to the implant when it has healed and fused with the jawbone. A dental implant can support a single crown, a bridge, or a complete set of dentures. 

When Should Dental Implants Be Used?

There must be enough bone in the jaw for the dental implant to fuse. If the bone around an implant is not a specific width, depth, and density, the implant will not stay in place. An implant in the upper jaw may cause a puncture in the sinus if the bone there is not thick enough.  

There should be plenty of bone, right? The jawbone eventually deteriorates and dissolves without a tooth root in its socket. The probability of the bone being too thin or fragile to support a dental implant increases the longer a tooth has been missing. 

If I Do Not Qualify for Dental Implants, What Are My Other Options?

If dental implants do not work for you, there are other options. 

  • Bridge teeth. A dental bridge may be possible if you miss one or more consecutive teeth. A bridge consists of two crowns with prosthetic teeth (pontics) attached between them. The crowns fit over the good teeth on either side of the gap, and the politics rest on the gums to cover the area. When considering a bridge, the health of your jawbone is irrelevant.  
  • Dentures. Traditional dentures are an alternative to dental implants if you need many or all of your teeth replaced. Conventional dentures rely on suction or adhesives to stay in place over the gums. Metal clasps secure partial dentures to your natural teeth. 
  • The procedure is called bone grafting. Bone tissue loss can be treated, opening the door to dental implants. Bone grafting is when a small piece of bone is surgically implanted beneath the gums, on top of the patient’s natural bone. It bonds with the existing bone to thicken it and encourage recovery of the missing bone tissue.