Am I a Candidate for Dental Implants?

by | Apr 16, 2013 | Dentist

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If you are a West Virginian who has lost a number of teeth, you may be considering dental implants in Charleston, WV. When a dentist performs an implant, he affixes a titanium post inside your gum. As the gum heals and grows around it, the post acts as a permanent root to which he will later attach a lasting false tooth. You may be wondering, however, if you are a good candidate for dental implants. While there are some cases in which a dentists may not recommend them, most people are actually good candidates for the procedure.

Because the titanium root is attached to the jaw bone and the bone immediately under the gum, in previous years patients with periodontal disease or significant bone loss were advised not to get dental implants in Charleston, WV. Recent advances in technology, however, allow patients who would previously have been disqualified to get implants, as long as they are in generally good health. Even older people are not disqualified from the procedure. Patients with significant bone loss should talk to their dentist about options for building up the necessary bone to support an implant. Using CT scans and computer imaging, oral and maxillofacial surgeons can see areas of bone loss and where the implants need to be placed. They can then create an image of where they will build up the bone.

One of the most common ways to replace the bone needed to sustain dental implants is bone grafting. Dentists can either graft from the patient’s own bone, collecting Platelet Rich Plasma to stimulate blood growth and rhBMP to stimulate the growth of bone protein. A dentist may also choose to harvest bone from a cadaver or employ a synthetic bone substitute. Advanced clinics even offer Teeth in an Hour and Teeth in a Day, new technologies that employ computer guided implant surgery. There will be multiple visits to the dentist in preparation for this procedure. A CT scan, combined with Virtual Reality software allows a computer to create a 3-D image of the jaw and plan out a perfectly placed implant. Because it is created so specifically to the patient’s mouth, it fits directly into the bone with no healing time needed. Patients are able to use their new implants immediately.

There are only a few patients who may not be good candidates for dental implants. Patients with diabetes or leukemia may have a hard time healing from the surgery. Also people who have taken bisphosphonates to combat osteoporosis will need to talk carefully to their dentist. Patients under 18 are not advised to have them, as their bones aren’t finished growing. Finally, smokers may have trouble healing from implant surgery since tobacco can irritate the skin in the mouth. However, these are just a few exceptions to the rule, and thousands of people are qualified for the procedure. Talk to your dentist about dental implants in Charleston, WV and get on your way to the bright, natural-looking smile you dream of.

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