Find out if you’re a candidate for dental implant surgery.
Dental implants can completely transform your smile and boost your self-confidence in a way few other dental restorations can. They can fill in the gap from a single missing tooth or multiple missing teeth, and they provide a beneficial alternative to traditional dentures. Best of all, dental implant surgery is very safe, success rates are high, and the implant itself can last for life.
However, dental implants aren’t for everyone. From age to chronic health conditions, there are temporary or permanent obstacles that may make dental implant placement too risky. This is why your dental implant consultation is such a crucial step in your prosthodontic smile makeover.
What You Can Expect During Your Dental Implants Consultation
After expressing interest in dental implants, our team will schedule a consultation for you with Dr. Bentz. Your consultation isn’t a treatment appointment but, rather, an in-depth examination of your oral health. Think of it as your usual six-month checkup but even more thorough.
During your consultation, Dr. Bentz will evaluate the following candidacy factors.
Current Oral Health
It’s important to have an optimal level of oral health before moving forward with dental implant surgery. Through visual examination and digital X-rays, Dr. Bentz will take a look at how your oral health is at the moment. He’ll be particularly interested in any signs of gum disease, especially periodontitis, as well as active tooth decay and chronic dry mouth.
In some cases, Dr. Bentz might postpone dental implant surgery until the patients’ active oral health issues are resolved.
During your consultation, you’ll find that Dr. Bentz takes a keen interest in your medical history. Just like standard checkups, he’ll ask about any recent changes to your health, new medical concerns, and changes to medication. It’s important to be open about your general medical history, as this plays an important role in dental implant candidacy.
For example, uncontrolled diabetes, a suppressed immune system, or active chemotherapy are some health factors that may heighten risks and prevent candidacy.
Jawbone Health and Density
Dr. Bentz will also look at your X-rays to evaluate the health and density of your jawbone. A dental implant post requires a normal level of bone density in order to be successful and long-lasting. If you’ve previously lost a tooth, such as a few years ago, your jawbone may have already shrunk in the area you’d like the dental implant.
In this case, Dr. Bentz may first need to do a bone graft to rebuild the structure before the post can be placed.
Gum Tissue Health
In addition to bone health, you also need healthy gum tissue for a dental implant to succeed. Dr. Bentz will look for signs of active gum disease and recommend treatment of that prior to moving forward with dental implant surgery.
If your gum disease has already healed but your gum tissue is sparse or receded, it’s possible to also have a gum graft to rebuild this area prior to implant surgery.
Chronic sinus problems could be problematic for dental implant surgery. In fact, if you often experience sinus infections or similar issues, you should mention this to Dr. Bentz when discussing your medical history.
In some cases, bone recession from a lost tooth in the upper jaw can leave minimal space for a dental implant. In this case, a sinus lift can help make space for the post and bolster bone density.
The location of nerves impacts where the dental implant post will be placed. If it’s placed too close to a nerve, the dental implant will result in chronic pain, sensitivity, and even numbness. Dr. Bentz will evaluate the structures surrounding the proposed implant site and determine if a post can be safely placed without impacting any nerves.
Oral Hygiene Habits
Your own oral hygiene habits also play a role in candidacy. Dental implants require no special care and can be treated exactly like your natural teeth. However, if you often forget to brush and floss, it increases the chances of implant failure, just like it would increase the chance of a cavity. Dr. Bentz will help you create an at-home dental care plan that addresses your needs and helps you develop healthy habits.
You just might find that the excitement about permanently replacing your missing teeth renews your motivation to prioritize your beautiful smile!
Candidates for dental implants can move forward with treatment.
After your consultation is complete, Dr. Bentz will have a confident idea of whether or not dental implant surgery is the best choice for you. If you are a candidate, congratulations! From here, you can schedule any necessary pre-surgery appointments you might need or move directly onto booking your surgery date.
If you’re not a candidate for dental implants, there are beautiful alternatives.
Not everyone is a candidate for dental implants, but that doesn’t mean you’re stuck with missing teeth. In fact, that’s far from the truth! Dr. Bentz offers a number of dental implant alternatives, including dental bridges and full or partial dentures. If Dr. Bentz discovers that dental implants aren’t the right choice for you, he’ll guide you toward the lowest-risk alternative that will benefit your smile.
Has your consultation for dental implants been scheduled yet?
If your dental implant consultation hasn’t been scheduled yet, you can do so right now by calling our office or using this online form.