Dental implants are screw like devices that are placed inside or on the jaw bone to provide support for artificial teeth. Most people opt for dental implants because they look and function like natural teeth.
However, not everyone is a candidate for dental implants. Your orthodontist will evaluate your overall health and the health of your gums and jaw bone to determine your suitability for a dental implant surgery. Though dental implants have a success rate of 95% to 98%, some conditions such as weak or insufficient jaw bone, pre-existing medical conditions, gum diseases and poor oral hygiene can result in complications.
In order to avoid complications, the orthodontist will carry out a thorough examination of your mouth and jaw to assess your suitability for the procedure. Here is a list of some procedures he may follow.
- Dental X-rays and 3D Imaging
Dental x-rays will help your orthodontist to have an idea about your dental health. X-rays will help the doctors to identify the reasons for missing teeth, diagnose any hidden teeth or gum problems and assess the health of your jaw bone. They can also see the placement of the jaw bone, sinus, palate etc. and plan the surgery. Diagnosing problems earlier helps the orthodontist to treat them beforehand and make you ready for the implant surgery.
- Checking Medical Records
The orthodontist will check your medical records to have an idea about your medical history. He may ask you to bring the medical file while you go for a consultation. Understanding medical history will help the orthodontist to know about any existing medical conditions that can impair the bone healing process and delay recovery time. Moreover, he can also have an idea about the medications you are using and their effects on the success of the surgery. Research shows that certain medications impact the recovery process and may lead to failed implants.
- Impressions and Molds
The orthodontist will take impressions of your teeth to know the exact measurements to customize your implants. With the advent of 3D printing technology, this process has become easier. Impressions are also taken to create the crowns and abutment that match with the color and shape of your natural tooth.
Once the orthodontist declares that you are a candidate for dental implants, he starts with the next stage of the treatment. The doctor will design a customized treatment plan and schedule a surgery.