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Dental Implants: Are They for Me?

By Thomas D. Taylor, D.D.S., M.S.D., and William R. Laney, D.M.D., M.S.

Examination and Diagnosis

Click on images for detailed views.

When you first see your dentist to talk about the possibility of implant therapy, your mouth will be thoroughly examined. X-rays will be taken of your head, jaw, and teeth so your dentist can determine the type, amount, and location of bone that is available. You may have to undergo other tests to check blood characteristics, heart function, lung condition, and general health status.

Image depicting the x-ray procedure and photo of what an x-ray of the jaw looks like


Impressions (molds) of the teeth and jaws are also necessary. Using these impressions, the dentist will then make plaster-like models so he or she can plan the treatment and make surgical guides. Such surgical guides help the surgeon to properly place the implants. In addition, a psychological test may be given. This provides the dentist with insight into particular personality problems a person may have that could cause the treatment to be less successful than expected. Illustration of how impressions of the teeth and jaws are obtained

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