You wouldn’t buy a car without doing research or shopping around first. You wouldn’t undergo a medical procedure without discussing all the pros and cons with your doctor. It only makes sense that before you proceed with dental implants, you sit down for an in-depth consultation with your implant dentist. Today, we’re touching upon just a few of the topics you and your dentist will discuss at your dental implant consultation.
Assessing Your Health
Before moving forward with dental implants, your dentist will first need to perform a thorough assessment of your oral and overall health to make sure you are a good candidate for the procedure. This initial part of the consultation process will feel similar to a checkup, where your dentist will:
- Use dental imaging technology like cone beam 3D scans and digital x-rays to take a look at your jaw, dental ridge, sinuses, and other oral structures. He will be able to determine the density of your jaw bone and decide whether you need bone grafting to augment the jaw. He can also plan exactly where and at what angle and depth the implant posts will be placed.
- Perform a tooth-by-tooth assessment to determine whether any “dead” or severely infected or damaged teeth need to be extracted prior to inserting implants.
- Use your medical history as a guide to determine whether you have any general health issues that may complicate or contraindicate oral surgery. Health issues that are likely to interfere with normal healing, like diabetes, autoimmune disorders, and ongoing therapies like chemotherapy, may disqualify you for the procedure.
- Discuss your lifestyle with you to determine whether any behaviors, like smoking cigarettes or recreational drug use might increase the chances of implant failure.
Establishing Your Esthetic Goals
Whether you’re having a single tooth replaced with an implant crown or you’re replacing an entire arch of missing teeth with implant-retained dentures, you want the final restoration to look like your own natural, healthy dentition. To accomplish this, you and your dentist will work closely to design a dental prosthetic that closely mimics your natural teeth and flatters your features. Some patients prefer brighter, more uniform teeth while others want longer, more feminine-looking teeth. Your satisfaction with the final look of your new smile depends heavily on this vital part of the consultation process.
About Shawn Hofkes, DDS
With advanced training in oral and maxillofacial surgery and certification in oral and IV sedation, Shawn Hofkes, DDS is qualified to place and restore dental implants at our state-of-the-art dentist office in Cerritos, CA. To schedule your appointment or consultation with Dr. Hofkes, contact us today. We proudly serve patients of all ages from Cerritos, Lakewood, Long Beach, Buena Park, and all surrounding communities.