A dental implant is an artificial replacement for a tooth root. As the main aim of an implant is to support an artificial tooth, it normally contains an internal screw thread or post space that allows an artificial tooth to be fitted.
Who is suitable for a dental implant?
If you are in good general oral health, you will likely be a good candidate for a dental implant. If, however, you suffer from gum problems such as gum disease, you may need to undergo treatment before you can receive a dental implant. Gum disease is a leading cause of bone loss, which can make things more complicated for your local cosmetic dentistry expert.
What can cause bone loss?
Whenever you lose a tooth or have a tooth extracted, the bone that surrounded the root of the tooth may disappear. This loss of bone, referred to as bone resorption, can be particularly rapid during the first few months of losing a tooth. Although the rate and amount of bone loss varies between individuals, it always occurs to some extent, making less bone available for the placement of a dental implant.
How will I know if I have enough bone for a dental implant?
A number of advanced x-ray techniques allow your cosmetic dentist to examine your jaw bone in three-dimension. The most accurate is known as cone beam computed tomography (CBCT). The images obtained from a CBCT scan of your jawbone will help your dentist to examine the quality and quantity of your jawbone, as well as determine the presence of any anatomical structures that must be avoided during the placement of a dental implant.
What anatomical structures must be avoided during the placement of a dental implant?
In the upper jaw, there are no important anatomical structures that must be avoided. In the low jaw, however, there is one important anatomical structure that must be avoided. This is the inferior dental nerve, which runs from the area behind your wisdom teeth, passes under your back teeth (molars) and emerges onto the skin of your face in the region of your middle teeth (premolars). If this nerve is damaged or disturbed during the placement of a dental implant, you may suffer temporary or even permanent numbness.
A CBCT scan will help your dentist to identify the precise location of this nerve and allow him or her to place your dental implant with considerable confidence. If a tooth is inadvertently damaged by implant placement, your dentist may be able to resolve any resulting problems with root canal treatment. Let dental professionals like those from London Bridge Dental Practice see to that.
(Dental Implant Information, www.adi.org.uk)