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Exploring Your Candidacy for Dental Implants

When it comes to replacing teeth, there is no option more reliable and longer-lasting than dental implants. At our Nashville, TN, dental practice, Dr. Jerry Hancock can determine if you are a candidate for dental implants through a series of tests during your initial consultation. In general, the best candidates are nonsmokers free of decay or gum disease who are in good overall health. If necessary, he can perform bone grafting and sinus lift procedures for patients lacking an adequate amount of jawbone tissue for dental implant placement. With over a decade of experience, Dr. Hancock is able to deliver high-quality implant procedures in a single office location.

Your Initial Consultation

During your appointment, Dr. Hancock will perform a full assessment of your teeth and gums to make sure they are healthy. He will also use digital x-rays, cone beam CT scans, or other advanced diagnostic imaging tools to evaluate the health of the jawbone. Then, he can sit down with you to discuss your medical history, along with your personal dental concerns and goals.

Eligibility Requirements for Dental Implant Treatment

Ideal candidates for dental implants do not smoke and are in good overall and oral health. Patients should inform Dr. Hancock of any medical conditions which could impede the success of treatment. For example, individuals with immune deficiencies or other uncontrolled diabetes may not be eligible for dental implants. 

By undergoing preparatory treatments, non-qualifying patients can become eligible for dental implants and enjoy optimal dental function.

Additionally, patients must be free from tooth decay and periodontal disease, as these conditions can seriously hamper your results. Candidates for dental implants must also have sufficient jawbone tissue to provide a solid foundation for the posts. If you do not have enough bone tissue, you may require a preparatory procedure before Dr. Hancock can safely place the implants.

Bone grafts can replace lost bone tissue, allowing for the safe placement of dental implants.

Preparatory Procedures

If you have been suffering with missing teeth for a long time, you have probably experienced jawbone atrophy that has compromised your candidacy for implants. At our practice, Dr. Hancock performs preparatory procedures which can replace lost tissue and restore your eligibility for implants:

  • Bone grafting: dental bone graft can add height, width, and volume to the jawbone in preparation for dental implants. To add bone, Dr. Hancock will make a small incision in the gums to access the bone underneath. Then, he will place bone grafting material into the area. Finally, he will close the incision with sutures.
  • Sinus lifts: If the upper back teeth are missing, the maxillary sinus can drop down and invade the area once inhabited by the tooth roots. In these cases, implants cannot be safely placed, as the posts could penetrate the sinus cavity. During a sinus lift, Dr. Hancock can gently lift the floor of the sinus cavity and fill the resulting space with bone grafting material to create a secure base for your implants.

Both of these procedures typically add several months of healing to the total treatment timeline.

Learn More Today

Restorations supported by dental implants are the next best alternative to a healthy tooth. If you are curious about dental implants, schedule a consultation with Dr. Hancock to explore your treatment options. You can contact us online anytime or call our office at (615) 383-0132.

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The staff is super friendly and efficient, and I always walk out of their office with a smile…a much brighter one! —Kate

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