Before you or our Greater Jacksonville, FL, dentists can move forward with dental implants, there needs to be a proper (and thorough) examination. Having implants placed is more of a time commitment than what comes with traditional dentures so we want to be absolutely sure that they’re going to benefit you in the long term.

Here’s a quick review of what a dental implant is and the various factors that influence whether one or multiple is the best solution for your smile.

Grasping the Concept of Dental Implants

Dental implants are prosthetic tooth roots made of titanium that are surgically inserted into the jawbone to support a porcelain crown. Contrary to how dentures and bridges rest on top of the gums or rely on adjacent teeth for support, implants provide a stable foundation for replacement teeth by anchoring directly into the jaw.

This stability allows for improved functionality and appearance, as well as better preservation of jawbone structure over time. The implant procedure typically involves several stages, including placement of the implant into the jawbone, a healing period during which the implant integrates with the bone (osseointegration), and the final attachment of a custom crown, bridge, or implant-supported denture to the post.

Factors Affecting Candidacy

Whether you’re a suitable candidate for dental implants will depend on a few different factors. One crucial aspect to consider is your oral health, including the condition of the gums and the density of your jawbone. Healthy gums and adequate bone density are necessary to support the implant and ensure its long-term success.

Gum health is essential because periodontal disease can compromise the stability of implants and increase the risk of implant failure. Similarly, sufficient bone density is required to provide a strong foundation for the implant and facilitate osseointegration, the process by which the implant fuses with the surrounding bone tissue.

Maintaining good oral hygiene is also important as neglecting your smile can lead to complications such as peri-implantitis, a condition similar to gum disease that affects the tissues surrounding the implant. For this reason, patients with a history of periodontal disease may require treatment before dental implant placement to ensure optimal outcomes.

In addition to oral health considerations, a person’s medical history and lifestyle can also influence candidacy. Certain medications and pre-existing medical conditions, such as diabetes or autoimmune disorders, may affect the body’s ability to heal properly after dental implant surgery. Our dentists will be sure to review your complete medical history to assess any potential risks.

Lastly, habits like smoking are known to impair healing and increase the chance of an implant not working out. Individuals who smoke may be advised to quit or reduce their smoking habits before undergoing implant placement to improve the likelihood of a successful outcome.

Dental Implant Evaluation Process

The evaluation process for dental implant candidacy typically begins with an initial consultation with one of our dentists. During this one-on-one meeting, we’ll discuss treatment goals, expectations, and perform a comprehensive oral examination. We’ll also assess the condition of your teeth, gums, and jawbone using X-rays or other diagnostic methods. It’s at this stage that we’ll check for gum disease and identify any other oral health issues that may impact the procedure.

More in-depth scans like X-rays provide detailed images of the jawbone and surrounding structures, allowing our dentists to analyze bone quality and quantity. Additionally, digital impressions may be taken to aid in treatment planning and to create the crown(s) that will be attached to the implants.

In cases where the evaluation reveals complex dental issues or insufficient bone structure, our dentists may recommend you receive a bone graft or undergo other procedures, such as periodontal therapy, before an implant can be considered.

Speak With Our Dentists About Implant Placement

Still have questions? Our dental implant dentists serving Jacksonville, Orange Park, and surrounding areas can explain every detail of the process if you’re deemed an ideal candidate. Call one of our Quality Dentures & Implants locations today to request an appointment or contact us online.