As family and cosmetic dentists in Des Plaines, we see people’s teeth in all phases of life. We see everything from a child’s first dentist visit, through years of preventative care and interventions, to helping people improve and restore smiles through cosmetic dentistry. The field of cosmetic dentistry covers many procedures, including Invisalign, teeth whitening, veneers, crowns & bridges, and implants. In this blog series, we will take a closer look at implantation technology, and how this procedure is a great option for replacing a missing tooth or series of teeth. We will look at who is a good candidate for implantation, what implantation entails, and after-care maintenance.

Before we can look at who a good candidate for implantation is, let’s take a quick look at what implantation is. We will then look at who makes a good candidate. In future blogs, we will return later for a deeper look for a step-by-step, but we will start with an introduction.

What is a Dental Implant?

According to the American Academy for Periodontology,(AAP) “A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is placed into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge.” There are two types of implants, those that are sunk into the jaw bone and those that go to the bone, but not into it. A dental implant can be used to replace a single tooth, a series of teeth, or even the entire upper or lower bite.

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When is an Implant Used?

“Dental implants may be an option for people who have lost a tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease, an injury, or some other reason,” according to the AAP. A dental implant does not need to be done immediately following the loss of the tooth. If you lost a tooth some time ago and are not happy with the solutions, be they crowns, bridges, or leaving the gap in your teeth, you may still be a candidate, so long as other candidate guidelines are met.

Candidate Guidelines

There are several factors a cosmetic dentist will look for in evaluating if a patient is a good candidate for dental implantation.

  • Because the dental implant is placed into the jaw, the amount of healthy jaw bone will need to be evaluated. However, if there is currently inadequate jaw bone, it doesn’t necessarily mean you can not be a candidate. It is not uncommon for a bone graft to be completed to ensure adequate jaw bone for an implant.
  • The rest of the teeth and the gums should also be healthy to be considered a good candidate.
  • Nonsmokers are considered to be better candidates than smokers because smoking inhibits blood flow and can negatively affect healing.
  • General good health and the absence of any systemic illness such as diabetes or HIV also makes for a good candidate.
  • People with other medical conditions such as alcoholism, hemophilia, and people taking certain cancer medications are excluded from being candidates for implantation.

Here at Library Plaza Dental, we are very lucky to have a highly trained dentist who specializes in implants. If you are interested in learning more about how implantation could be the answer to a missing tooth, or teeth, call and schedule a consultation. done