Did you know that as many as 100 million Americans have lost at least one tooth? As you might expect, most of these people really begin to value their own, original, healthy teeth. And they are usually excited to learn that dental implants can offer them artificial teeth that look very natural and feel remarkably secure.
Whether you have full or partial dentures or are just missing teeth, dental implants may be an option for you. As a means of attaching natural-looking teeth directly to the jaw, implants can replace one or more teeth, provide support for a bridge or be used to attach a full denture for either retention or support.
At this time, there are two types of implants that are considered safe and effective by the American Dental Association. These are endosteal and subperiosteal implants.
To determine which type of implant to use, our practice first looks at the patient's jawbone. The jawbone must be able to support the implants, and both the quantity and the quality of bone must be taken into consideration.
Unlike an endosteal implant, subperiosteal implantation does not go directly into the jawbone. Instead, a metal framework is inserted onto the jawbone and under the gum tissue. This approach is used when the jawbone has an inadequate amount of bone available for endosteal implantation.
Patients who are candidates for subperiosteal implants usually have been lacking some or all of their teeth for several years and there is not enough bone to support their denture without pain.
The jawbone itself can also be changed or augmented to create a foundation for the implant or implants needed by the patient. To a great extent, the choice of removable or non-removable replacement teeth by the patient will dictate the kind of implants used; and the type of implant, in turn, is usually the determining factor regarding whether or not augmentation of the jawbone is necessary.
A thorough dental evaluation including a clinical examination of your teeth, radiography (x-rays) and a complete medical history is required to determine if you would be a good implant candidate.
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