Any person who has lost one or more teeth, or even a part of the jaw bone, is a candidate for dental implants. This includes those individuals who have some or all or their teeth have been missing since birth as well as people who have lost teeth (some or all) later in life.
In order to be a candidate, patients need to be in a good state of health, and we would expect that any systemic illnesses or condition that may adversely affect healing is well under control. The diabetic patient, as an example, may be an acceptable candidate for dental implants provided that their disease process is being treated, and they are carefully monitoring their medications and blood sugar levels. If the patient is unstable, then we would need to work with the patient's physician to correct the situation prior to proceeding with treatment. Dr Barasz will discuss your medical history with you at the consultation appointment and any concerns she has will be addressed prior to any treatment being done.
The patient must also have enough bone to place the implant. Whenever a tooth is lost, bone in the surrounding area begins to remodel and slowly disappears. Consequently, patients who have been missing teeth for a period of time may also present with deterioration of the jaw bones. If the degree of bone loss is slight then it is usually possible to place dental implants without any further treatment. However, if the process is extensive there may be insufficient bone available to support the implant.
In the past patients who presented with insufficient bone were simply classified as non-candidates, and were left untreated. Fortunately we are now able to transform the majority of non-candidate patients into good candidates for dental implants with the use of a variety of bone grafting procedures. Often the grafting can be done in conjunction with the placement of implants in a single surgical procedure, but some patients present with more significant bone loss and may require more extensive grafting procedures that need to be accomplished prior to the placement of implants. In any case, it is important to remember that almost any patient can receive dental implants. Dr. Barasz will discuss the possibility of you having dental implants at the consultation appointment.