Dental implant surgeries are procedures performed on faulty teeth and indicated in several oral diseases. These surgeries work best when the dental root damage does not allow dentures or bridgework. Several types of dental implants are decided on after adequate evaluation of the oral cavity. Implants are placed in your jawbone and provide better support in scenarios in which placing a denture or bridge would not be possible. In this article, we will discuss implants, their clinical indications, and the scenarios where placing implants are contraindicated.
Understanding the Basics
Edentulism is a medical term that signifies loss of teeth, partial or complete. These edentulous gaps are further classified into different categories that we will discuss shortly. The gap size and the area determine the type of prosthesis be used as each type of implant also has its indications and cannot be placed in every clinical scenario. Bridgework can be used in only certain types of edentulism where the root of the tooth is still intact. Let’s explore the two types of edentulism for a better understanding.
This term refers to when one or more than one tooth is missing and is further classified, based on the number of teeth lost and the structure of gaps produced. Various classifications have been proposed to categorize partial edentulism out of which we will be discussing the Kennedy classification.
- Kennedy class 1 represents a loss of teeth from the posterior area of the jaws on both sides. The loss of molars and premolar teeth is lost. Removable dentures or restorations with dental implants are the treatment choice for this class.
- In Kennedy class 2, posterior teeth on one side of the dental arch are missing. Bridges, dentures, or implants can be advised, depending on the situation.
- When posterior teeth on one side are missing but there is a toothless gap that has natural teeth on both sides. This is Kennedy class 3. Dental bridges, implants, and removable dentures are mostly advised.
- Missing teeth on the anterior area are categorized as Kennedy class 4. Implants, partial dentures, and bridges are a treatment of choice.
These classes can also show up collectively when there is moderate loss of teeth in an individual due to trauma, old age, or a medical condition.
As the name suggests, the teeth on the dental arch are completely missing. This type of tooth loss is mostly seen in elderly people or with chronic diseases that directly affect the teeth. Most dental experts including those at https://thedentalimplantplace.com/ recommend getting a second opinion as it helps you make the best possible decision according to the dental workup required. In the case of complete edentulism, your dental surgeon might suggest removable dentures or advise dental implants that can either be removable or permanently fixed in the jaws.
Indications of Dental Implants
Now that we have discussed the classification and the type of dental fixtures indicated in each category, let’s read on to know the scenarios where dental implants are highly recommended.
Single Tooth Loss
In case a single tooth is missing while surrounding teeth are healthy, a dental implant is highly indicated as this procedure will protect the adjacent natural teeth. Bridges can also be placed, but it will require preparing the adjacent teeth for the bridge to be fixed. On the other hand, implants eliminate the need for preparation.
Partial Loss of Teeth
Loss of posterior teeth of one side of the dental arch can be fixed by dental implants. Dental bridges in this case are not advisable as they require support from adjacent healthy teeth. An implant-supported prosthesis is the most likely type of dental implant your dental surgeon might recommend.
Complete dentures are the traditional choice in complete loss of teeth. However, either fixed or removable dental implants are way more effective in these situations as they provide greater stability, help during speaking, and give better mastication ability while chewing food.
There are several conditions in which dental implants are not advised. The health issues are as follows.
- Certain types of cancers
- Heart diseases like infarcts, cardiomyopathy, and stenosis
- Autoimmune diseases or medical conditions in which the immune system gets compromised
- Mental disorders
- Structural deformities in the jaws
- Oral medical conditions like mouth ulcers
Getting dental implants is a long and extensive process. Depending on the issue, your doctor will prepare you for the procedure and it may take several sessions for the procedure to complete. Knowing about the surgery you are going through will help in understanding the situation better and make the right choice.