Dental implants are rapidly outpacing traditional dentures as a solution to missing teeth, and with good reason. Implants usually last for the rest of the patient's life and are far more natural looking than dentures or bridges. They are also significantly more comfortable than other options and won't cause embarrassment or inconvenience by slipping during meals. However, before you decide on implants, you should have at least one conversation with your dentist about their qualifications and how the process will go. Following are five things that you should cover with your dentist before making a decision on whether implants are the right option for you, and whether they're the right person for the job.
How Long Has the Dentist Been Installing Dental Implants?
Because implant installation involves the use of relatively new technology and techniques, many dentists don't have a significant amount of experience, so be certain to ask your dentist how long he or she has been working with implants. It is also perfectly acceptable to ask your dentist what type of training he or she has received regarding the installation of dental implants. A reputable dentist will have no problem referring you to a more experienced colleague in the event that you're more comfortable with someone who has substantial experience installing dental implants.
What is the Dentist's Success Rate?
Keep in mind that even a dentist who has been installing implants for years may not have the type of experience that you desire. You should also ask your dentist what his or her success rate with implant installation is. Success rates with dental implants is generally very high -- as much as 98 percent -- provided they are properly installed. A lower success rate may be an indication that your dentist doesn't have experience using the latest dental implant techniques.
Does the Dentist Use Surgical Stents?
One of the most important newer technologies that have been proven instrumental in ensuring successful implant installation is the use of surgical stents. Surgical stents are used to make certain that the implant will be placed in the ideal location. A stent is used to accurately evaluate the height and width of available bone during the planning stages of implant installation. Older positioning technologies involved significant guesswork on the part of the dentist that often led to miscalculations.
Does the Dentist Use 3-D Imaging?
One of the new technologies available that greatly heightens chances of success implant installation is 3-D cone beam imaging. This is a fast, painless procedure that involves a 1-second scan that allows your dentist to have a computer-generated view of the treatment area. This procedure is much better than traditional dental X-rays because those focus only on the teeth, while 3-D cone beam imaging provides a three-dimension look at the entire area from every possible angle. This can provide dentists with the visual information necessary to make good decisions regarding implant placement because it shows the bone area that supports the patient's teeth.
Are Mini-Implants a Possibility?
You should also ask your dentist if you are a good candidate for mini implants. Mini implants generally cost less than conventional implants, as well as require less bone tissue. The installation of mini implants does not require surgery, and the simple, one-step procedure can be performed in less than an hour in your dentist's office. They can be used the same day they are installed, and because the installation process uses non-lingering Novocain, patients don't experience annoying, long-lasting numbness and tingling. Most patients are good candidates for mini implants unless they have uncontrolled diabetes or have had significant radiation applied to the jaw area.Share
23 February 2015
My name is Cicely Davenport and if you need to get dentures, but you have questions about them, I invite you to read my blog to learn the answers. I too needed to get dentures but I wanted to find out everything I could about them before I committed. I read all about full dentures and partial dentures, and the difference between each of the two kinds. I went ahead and got a full set of dentures and I really like how they look and feel. I want to help others who are also thinking about dentures and you can learn a lot about them when you read my blog.