To determine if implants are right for you, a consultation with your dentist, oral surgeon, and/or periodontist
or prosthodontist is needed. During this appointment, your dental
professional will conduct a thorough examination of your teeth and
gums. This may involve a combination of X-rays and computer tomography
scans (CT scans) to ensure that sufficient bone structure exists for
placing the implant(s), and to determine the exact location the implant
should be placed.
Based on the condition of your oral tissues, oral
hygiene and personal habits, and your commitment to follow your
dentist's aftercare instructions, your dentist will advise you of your
most appropriate dental implant treatment plan. Some patients with
insufficient bone or gum tissue require bone or soft tissue grafts,
and/or the use of small diameter implants (also called mini implants).
Your treatment plan could involve the immediate
placement of an implant and restoration at the same appointment, or
require separate procedures to place the implant, allow healing and
then place the restoration. In some instances, a series of procedures
may be required to place tissue and bone grafting materials, allow time
for healing, place the implant and allow it to integrate with your
bone, and then place the restoration. Depending on your situation, your
dental professional will advise you of how long the entire treatment
process will take, how many appointments will be necessary and what you
can expect after each procedure.
The consultation also will include discussion of
options for local anesthesia (to numb the affected and surrounding
areas) and sedation dentistry, if necessary.