Millions of people are affected by oral-related illnesses and injuries, affecting their health, well-being, and self-esteem. Fortunately, dental implants are an optimal solution to replace one or more missing or damaged teeth, providing the look and function of natural teeth.
Dental implantation of replacement teeth will restore the ability to eat, smile, and speak confidently again, improving your overall health.
Dental implants act as tooth roots, providing a stable and secure foundation for replacement teeth that do not require removal during certain times or activities as dentures do. There are two types of dental implants:
- Endosteal: The most common implant, the endosteal, is placed into the bone by screws, blades, or cylinders surgically implanted into the jawbone to hold one or more prosthetic teeth. Patients wearing removable dentures or bridges most commonly choose this type of implant.
- Subperiosteal: Rather than being placed in the bone, the subperiosteal implant sits on top of the jawbone and is secured to a framework of implanted posts that protrude through the gums, holding it in place. The subperiosteal implant is ideal for patients unable to wear dentures or have enough bone height for the endosteal implants.
Dental implants are made up of three parts:
- Implant: A titanium screw is inserted into the jawbone to create an artificial root that will secure the new tooth. The size varies depending on available natural bone and the patient’s jaw size.
- Abutment: Ceramic or titanium abutments are attached to the implant, creating a post for the oral surgeon to secure a new crown or tooth and provide support.
- Restoration: Once the implants and abutments have been placed, crowns, bridges, or full prosthetics can be attached, resulting in fully functioning new teeth.
Dental implants can replace a single tooth or multiple teeth. Some patients may require sinus augmentation or ridge modification before implant surgery to successfully implement new teeth.
The majority of people are good candidates for dental implants, provided they meet the following criteria:
- Good oral health: Candidates must be free of any infection or other dental problems that could interfere with the surgical procedure, with a clear presentation of good oral hygiene. Post-surgical implant care requires daily brushing, flossing, and regular checkups.
- Healthy gums: The gums play a crucial role in the placement of implants and the success of the surgical procedure. Patients with periodontal disease, gingivitis, or other illnesses are not likely good candidates for dental implant procedures.
- Bone density: To support, secure, and protect the implants, there must be sufficient bone density for anchoring the implants. Patients with bone loss may still be candidates. However, an additional procedure may be necessary to reconstruct the bone before implant surgery.
- Bruxism: Patients with consistent clenching or grinding of the teeth may not be good candidates for implants, as the pressure of these actions can damage the implants.
Tobacco users are not good candidates for dental implant surgery, as smoking and tobacco prevent the mouth from healing, significantly decreasing implant success. If you are interested in having implants, it is recommended that you quit tobacco use entirely to be a candidate.
Patients with cancer, those undergoing jaw radiation therapy, have uncontrolled diabetes, alcoholism, or gum disease may have less success with dental implants and require pre-implementation plans or treatments.
Certain medications, such as steroids or immunity suppressors, may also prohibit some patients from receiving dental implants. In such cases, with a thorough exam and evaluation, your oral surgeon may determine a course of action that will make you a successful candidate.
Overall, dental implants have a high rate of success. If you are considering an implant procedure, contact an oral surgeon as soon as possible.
South Jersey Oral Surgeons at Lanzi Burke Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons Perform Dental Implant Procedures
If you suffer from missing or damaged teeth and want to restore your smile and overall health and well-being, one of our experienced South Jersey oral surgeons at Lanzi Burke Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons can help you determine if you are a candidate for dental implants. Call us today at 856-582-4222 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Washington Township, Haddonfield, and Woolwich Township, New Jersey, we serve patients throughout South Jersey.