Hi there! I have recently been shopping for an implant specialist/periodontist and I am not sure who to go to. I have been quoted a variety of different prices and treatment plans. My questions are: Do implants come in various qualities? Do they not come in only titanium fused to metal? How would you determine if you need a CT scan to see where your nerves are, for more accurate implant placement? Is it true that once your tooth is missing, there's no nerve underneath?
Excellent questions. I'll try to answer each one.
There are well over 100 manufacturers of dental implants available for purchase by dentists in this country. There are different qualities of implants. Some have more research, and have been in place for a long time.
The best advice I can give you is to find out which implant system your specialist is using and ask him or her why they are using that system? Then do a little research of your own. I recommend that you go with a company that has been in existence for many years.
Most implants that are used today are manufactured from titanium. There are some newer implants made with zirconium, but the studies are not long term.
The necessity of a CT scan is determined by your implant specialist/periodontist. If he or she has extracted the tooth, then measurement of nerve position can be determined at the time of tooth removal. It also depends on which area the implant is being placed.
In the posterior area (back of the mouth/jaw) the nerve is usually closer to where the implant is going to be placed. CT scans are very accurate and if the specialist is in doubt of the size needed, or location of the nerve then a ct scan should be performed. I use CT scans for approximately 80% of my implant placement.
There are now "dental" ct scans which use less radiation than the medical version.
And finally: Is it true that once your tooth is missing, there's no nerve underneath? Absolutely false! Even when the tooth is missing the nerve is in the jawbone (lower jaw) is still present.