Dental implants are an ideal option for people in good general and oral health who have lost one or more teeth due to caries, periodontal disease or an injury. Most adults with missing teeth can be candidates for dental implants. Making the initial dental appointment is the first step in evaluating if dental implants are right for you.
On the first appointment a full mouth exam will be done with a complete medical and dental history. The patient may be advised certain radiographs (X-rays) and possibly a CBCT scan, which will give the dentist a good idea of density and quantity of bone and the shape of the jaw. Impressions for study models may be taken and certain blood tests may be advised as part of diagnostic records to assess the suitability of the patient for implants and the various treatment options possible.
At the next appointment, the various replacement options possible for the missing natural teeth – implant supported and conventional – are discussed in detail along with the cost and the time period involved. This allows the patient to make a well informed decision about their treatment.
Traditionally implant prosthesis are done in two stages. In the first stage, the implants are surgically placed in the jawbone. This is followed by a waiting period of 3 – 6 months to allow the bone to heal and the implant to osseointegrate (fuse) with the jawbone. The next stage comprises procedures to fabricate and fit the final prosthesis (artificial teeth) over the implants. However, in certain indicated cases, recent advances in implant surface and design allows us to do implant placement and fitting of artificial teeth in a single stage, thereby dramatically reducing the time the patient is without teeth. In many situations it is possible to place implants and artificial teeth at the same appointment when the extraction of the patient’s natural tooth is done.