Facts about dental implants
Modern dental implants are arguably one of the most significant advances in the history of dentistry. The engineering and design of the materials is constantly improving, and the technique of proper placement and healing gains scientific evidence every day. But what exactly are dental implants, and who is a candidate?
For now, most dental implants are a medical-grade titanium alloy “screw” or “post” that have the ability to integrate into the jawbone just like artificial knees, hips, etc. Once an implant is properly integrated, it can be used to support a single tooth. Multiple implants allow dentists to secure bridges, make dentures fit more comfortably and securely, or even to fasten a form of hybrid denture semi-permanently so it only needs to be taken out for professional cleaning.
Many patients have the impression that they are too young or too old or too unhealthy for implants, or that they are too unaffordable for practical purposes. The reality is that there are a few conditions that can make implant placement problematic – for example tobacco use, uncontrolled diabetes, and uncontrolled bone disorders. Also, since implants integrate into the bone and then don’t move, dentists avoid placing them until skeletal growth is complete (around 18 years), as well as in patients who plan on having braces in the future. There is no upper age limit, and in fact older patients are more likely to benefit from additional teeth or denture stabilization.
As far as finances are concerned, many dental insurances are starting to offer some coverage on implants, and some offices have the capability of billing medical insurance when it can be shown to be medically beneficial to the whole body.
For more information on implants, attend a free informational seminar at the Westlake Rec Center on Tuesday, Nov. 10, 6 p.m. Space is limited; call 440-835-8999 to reserve a seat.
Dr. Constantinou was born in Wisconsin and grew up in the suburbs of Boston, Massachusetts. He graduated with honors from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst while working first as an EMT and then as a research assistant searching for a cure for Lou Gehrig's disease. Dr. Constantinou then attended Boston University School of Dental Medicine where he served as a delegate to the American Student Dental Association for four years. He moved to Cleveland in 2008 and has been practicing here ever since. Dr. Constantinou and his wife, Niki, have three children. Dr. Constantinou enjoys spending time with his family, keeping up with personal technologies, and most outdoor activities like hiking and camping, and participating in the Tough Mudder challenge.