Find Out if You Are a Candidate for Dental Implants
Dental implants represent the finest and most advanced dental restorative treatment available today. The benefits they provide for patients who are missing teeth, or who have inadequate existing dental prostheses, are numerous and well documented. Dr. Ben Ahlbrecht of North Meridian Dental Excellence in Indianapolis, IN, can determine candidacy for dental implants through a series of assessments that measure the health of the jawbone, gums, and your overall wellbeing.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants have revolutionized modern dentistry. These small metal titanium cylinders are embedded into the jawbone and integrate with the surrounding bone. After this occurs, specially made crowns, bridges, partial dentures, and even full dentures can be securely attached to the implants.
Implant-supported restorations create stability in the mouth and restore the patient's chewing function and appearance. Moreover, the functional load they place on the jawbone helps preserve its volume and integrity. Thus, implant-supported restorations function much like the original natural teeth they replace.
Requirements for Dental Implants
Dental implants are recommended for patients missing one or more teeth. This includes teeth that have not been replaced by a dental prosthesis, as well as those that are currently replaced by a conventional bridge or denture that is loose, uncomfortable, or unappealing. In order to qualify, though, patients must be:
- Healthy enough to undergo surgical implant placement
- Free of disease and infections of the teeth or gums
- Able to support a dental implant with a minimum amount of jawbone tissue
Dr. Heard will evaluate your candidacy during a consultation.
Medical Assessment for Candidacy
During the initial oral health examination, Dr. Ahlbrecht thoroughly evaluates the physical and dental status of potential implant patients. He will first assess their medical history to determine if they have any conditions that might make implant surgery an inappropriate course of action. For patients with a history of serious conditions, such as a heart attack, stroke, or a bleeding disorder, Dr. Ahlbrecht may consult their physician to determine if they are healthy enough to safely undergo dental surgery. Additionally, patients who smoke will be advised to stop doing so before any implants are placed, as smoking is known to compromise healing.
Treatments such as dental cleanings, fillings, gum disease treatment, extractions, and root canal therapy must be completed prior to implant placement.
After you have been medically cleared, Dr. Ahlbrecht will evaluate your current dental condition. He will look for cavities, tooth infections, and any evidence of gum disease. It is essential that candidates for implant surgery be in good dental health and practice excellent oral hygiene. Treatments such as dental cleanings, fillings, gum disease treatment, extractions, and root canal therapy must be completed prior to implant placement.
Dr. Ahlbrecht will also pay special attention to the amount of jawbone the patient has in the areas where implants are to be placed. Implants require sufficient quality and volume of bone to support them. To get a better sense of the state of the oral cavity, the doctor will order radiographs and possibly also a computerized tomography (CT) scan. If there are areas where the bone is inadequate, he may recommend a bone grafting procedure. This can be accomplished prior to or in conjunction with implant placement.
In some cases, a special type of bone grafting known as a sinus lift is necessary to create additional bone in the upper back jaw. This procedure is designed to create room for additional bone growth below the maxillary sinus so that you can receive an implant.
A Brighter Smile Starts with an Appointment
Patients in the Indianapolis area who are interested in improving the appearance of their smile and their chewing ability are encouraged to contact Dr. Ben Ahlbrecht and his team of friendly professionals at North Meridian Dental Excellence. Send them a message online or call them at (317) 571-5000.
"North Meridian Dental Excellence is great! They've somehow cracked the code on making a trip to the dentist an enjoyable experience. Dr. Ahlbrecht and his team are all great to work with. Everyone is extremely friendly, nice and fun, while maintaining a professional, clean and private environment."Nick E.