In the world of dental medicine, nothing has revolutionized the profession the way dental implants have. Dental implants are a completely artificial tooth which can be used to replace a single tooth, many missing teeth, or secure a denture. This is what makes dental implants so exciting for our patients! Due to their versatility, we can give our patients more options regarding missing teeth.
People often wonder, “Are dental implants safe?” The answer for most of the population is, “YES!” If you are a healthy individual who does not smoke, have diabetes, or a history of head and neck radiation, implant success rate is over 98%!
So why are there not more dentists placing implants? To achieve a high success rate, the dentist or surgeon must have completed additional education beyond dental school to understand how to use and place dental implants. Not all dentists want to make this investment and will utilize a specialist to place the implants and then the general dentist will restore the implant with the abutment and crown.
In addition to the advancement in implants, there is the advancement in X-ray technology called Cone Beam CT or CBCT. This machine allows the dentist to see the face and jaw in 3 dimensions. By looking at the implant site, we can determine prior to placing the implant exactly what size of implant to use and if there is a need for grafting due to a lack of bone. This diagnostic tool is becoming a vital part of precise implant placement and will soon be the standard of proper care for patients.
How do you know if dental implants are right for you? The first step would be to schedule a consult with your dentist so they can review your health history, x-rays, and establish expectations. If you are missing one or more teeth, there is no better time than now to get started!
Dr. Melvin Benson, Jr.