Am I a candidate for dental implants?

You have probably heard of the dental implant--the modern tooth replacement choice offered to teens and adults who have lost teeth due to gum disease, tooth decay, accident, congenital malformation or other oral health issues. Replacing a tooth from root to crown, the Fayetteville dental implant looks, feels and functions just like a real tooth does, and unlike bridgework or traditional dentures, thisDental Implants prosthetic tooth does not slip, shift or slur speech.

The Dental implant

Drs. John K. and Jeffrey A. Kendrick of Heritage Dental Associates offer their Fayetteville patients dental implants placed during a simple, in-office surgical procedure. The results are nothing short of sensational.

The single-tooth dental implant is made up of 3 parts:

  1. a titanium screw that anchors the device in the patient's jaw
  2. a metal post or abutment which extends the implant above the gum line
  3. a porcelain crown to cover the implant

The procedures take place in 2 phases, separated by several weeks of healing. During this time, the titanium in the implant and the jaw bone bond together through a natural process called "osseointegration." Osseointegration strengthens the underlying bone, avoiding the jaw recession which invariably occurs after tooth loss because the bone is not exercised by biting and chewing.

Candidates for Dental Implants

People in good overall and oral health may receive one or more dental implants. Implants even support multi-tooth bridges and full arches of dentures--either removable or permanently fixed. Dr. Kendrick carefully examines each dental implant candidate, noting his or her medical, surgical and prescription medication history. He also takes x-rays and digital impressions to formulate an individualized treatment plan.

The Fayetteville dental implant dentists do caution that the best candidates must have an alveolar ridge (the part of the jaw bone which supports the teeth) that is sizeable and dense. Without sufficient bone, the dentist and patient may elect bone augmentation procedures before placing an implant.

In addition, while people who smoke or chew tobacco can receive implants, the dentists recommend stopping these practices at least 3 days before and after an implant surgery to allow for better healing. Good candidates also practice diligent oral hygiene--brushing and flossing daily and getting exams and cleanings every 6 months at Heritage Dental Associates. These practices boost implant success rates, avoiding a gum infection called peri-implantitis.

A Great Choice

According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, dental implants have become the gold standard for tooth replacement over the past 30 years. Readily accepted by the human body, realistic looking and optimizing natural eating and chewing, these prosthetic devices are highly successful and can last a lifetime with good care.

Dr. John and Jeff Kendrick and their staff would like to show you what dental implants could mean for your smile. Please phone the Fayetteville office at (770) 460-9795 to arrange your personal consultation.