When properly placed, dental implants offer unparalleled support for dental restorations, making them an optimal choice for many patients. Due to their integration with the jawbone, though, the placement of implants requires extensive knowledge and planning on the part of the Oral Surgeon. At our Indianapolis dental practice, we pride ourselves on our specialized knowledge of dental implant surgery, giving our patients the sort of care and expertise needed for an effective procedure and recovery. If you plan on receiving implants in the near future, take a moment to learn how the placement of implants is determined and implemented.
One or more missing teeth can make eating difficult and cause you to feel self-conscious about the appearance of your smile. Dental implants offer a natural looking and feeling option for replacing missing teeth and restoring confidence. When it comes to dental implant treatment, good planning yields better results with greater success rates. Today we’ll take a look at what dental implant planning generally entails. For help planning your dental implant surgery, contact the Indianapolis Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center in Indianapolis, IN.
About Dental Implants
Dental implants are screw-like posts that are surgically placed within the jawbone to act as artificial tooth roots. After implantation, the jawbone will fuse with the implant, allowing the implant to function just like a natural tooth.
The first stage of planning for dental implant treatment is to determine candidacy for this treatment. Ideal candidates for dental implant treatment should be in relatively good general health and have sufficient jawbone at the desired implantation site to support the dental implant.
Restoring Bone Density
In circumstances where there has been a loss of bone density, commonly seen in prolonged tooth loss, a bone graft may be necessary before dental implant treatment can be performed. Through bone graft surgery, bone from the patient’s own body or an artificial material may be used to restore the jawbone. If a bone graft is necessary, this may add several months to the dental implant treatment and recovery process.
Choosing the Appropriate Dental Restoration
Dental implants may be paired with a variety of dental restorations, including dental crowns, implant-supported dentures, or implant-supported bridges. The right restoration will depend on the number of missing teeth as well as the patient’s desired outcome.
For those missing only one or two teeth, a dental implant paired with a crown is often the best option. For those with more than two neighboring missing teeth, a dental bridge restoration may be most suitable. For those missing a full arch of teeth, implant-supported dentures may be most beneficial.
The Importance of Proper Placement
Dental implants require even more planning and precision than most other types of oral surgery. This is because implants require a months-long process of osseointegration, or natural integration with surrounding bone tissue. For this reason, the right type and length of implant must be chosen to properly fit within the mouth, and it must be installed at a precise location and angle so as to properly replicate the natural position of a tooth’s roots. Our experienced and skilled surgeons will determine all of this ahead of time through evaluations and X-rays, ensuring success even before the surgery begins.
When first considering dental implants, patients must undergo an evaluation to determine whether they can reliably have them installed. During this evaluation, the patient’s gum and jaw health will be assessed first. In order for the implants to properly heal with nearby soft tissues, a patient must have relatively healthy gums that are free of disease. The jawbone must also be healthy enough to support implants. In the event of bone loss, we may recommend a bone graft in order to bulk up the jaw’s structure prior to implant surgery.
If a patient is deemed a good candidate for implants, X-rays will be used to plan the best placement for each potential implant. These images will help reveal what type, size, and angle of implant will yield the most successful results and provide the best stability for dental restorations.
Number of Implants
Another consideration when receiving dental implants is the type of restoration to be used in conjunction with them.
For the individual replacement of single teeth, implants will simply act as the roots of each missing tooth to be crowned. This is generally a good option when replacing one or two teeth, or replacements that are in different areas of the mouth.
For multiple teeth in a single area, however, larger restorations may only need two implants for support. A dental bridge, for instance, can be supported by one implant at each end, allowing it to span a larger area while replacing all teeth between the implants. For patients who have a healthy natural tooth that may be used for support, only one dental implant may be needed for a bridge.
Similarly, entire dentures may be effectively held in place through just a few implants. This solves many of the problems typically associated with loose dentures, such as instability, discomfort, and speech impediments. If you are considering dental implants for multiple lost teeth, rest assured that we will suggest an appropriate number of implants to best support your chosen restoration.
Discussing Pre-op and Post-op Instructions
The final stage in planning for dental implant surgery is to go over pre-op and post-op instructions. Understanding what to do before and after surgery can help ensure a smooth and speedy recovery, and improve the chances for implant success. At this time, patients will also be advised on the recovery timeline and how soon they may be able to enjoy the benefits of dental implant treatment.
We look forward to providing families with exceptional care and advanced treatment options. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Falender contact our Indianapolis, IN, dental office today by calling (317) 900-4535. Our office welcomes patients in and around Indianapolis, IN, including Fishers, Lawrence, Greenfield, and the surrounding Southern Indianapolis communities.