Millions of people worldwide suffer from missing teeth. There are many reasons for this problem. Some of them are gum diseases, Gingivitis, injury or tooth decay. Missing teeth impair the chewing and speaking of the person and also have a negative impact on their self-esteem.
Prior to the advent of dental implants, bridges and dentures were the only options to replace missing teeth. But technological improvements in the field of dentistry have led to the invention of dental implants. Dental implants are a great way to replace missing teeth. The artificial tooth that is fixed on the implant not only looks like a natural tooth but also functions like one. However, getting dental implants is not an easy job. Your orthodontist should determine that you are a good candidate for dental implants in order to proceed further in the treatment process.
Here are 4 important criteria that the doctor evaluates for determining whether you are suitable for a dental implant procedure.
- Bone Quality
The quality of the jaw bone plays a crucial role in the success of the dental implant surgery. The orthodontist evaluates the jaw bone and determines whether the bone is hard or soft using latest 3D imaging techniques. The doctor evaluates the bone density and classifies it into hard, intermediate hard and soft. Depending on the bone quality, the doctor then suggests the type of implants and the method of surgery.
- Bone Dimensions
The orthodontist will determine the exact length and width of the bone to improve the accuracy of the placement of dental implants. The bone measurements can be approximated from 2D x-ray or a 3D CT scan.
- Bone Angle
The size, shape and angle of the jaw varies from person to person. The orthodontist evaluates the jaw bone and determines its angle prior to the dental implant surgery. The exact measurement of the bone angle is critical to the accurate placement of the implants.
- Location of Critical Structures
Installation of dental implants requires a jaw surgery. Surgery is a risky procedure that has some complications. The orthodontist evaluates the location of critical structures like nerves and sinuses to avoid touching them during the surgery.
An orthodontist will declare you as a candidate for dental implants after carefully evaluating the above criteria along with your general medical history and lifestyle.