What Is A Dental Implant?
Implants are a tooth replacement option that involves placing a new "root" into the bone of your jaw. Once this titanium "root" has infused with your bone it can be used to support a crown, bridge or denture. These implants can also be used to replace partials and other forms of dentures. The success rate for dental implants are extremely high and is due in part to the fact that root-form implants are made of a biocompatible material, titanium. Because titanium is accepted so well by the human body, it is also used for orthopedic implants, such as hip and knee replacements. Dental Implants have now become the standard for replacing older dentistry and missing teeth because they look and feel like your natural teeth and have a higher success rate than all other forms of tooth replacement. The initial cost is generally higher for an implant over other forms of tooth replacement, but the long term benefits easily outweigh the difference in additional cost. An investment in implant dentistry is an investment in overall health, appearance and well being, as it involves preserving the integrity of facial structures, as well as replacing missing teeth.
There are actually two phases to implant dentistry.
Phase 1: Using very accurate surgical techniques, an incision is made in the gum tissues and implants are placed into dimensionally controlled sites (depth and width) in the jawbone.
First, the gum tissue is opened and the jaw bone is tapped with a small drill and then drilled with a wider drill. The implant is inserted into place. The gum tissues are then closed and the healing phase begins. This may take anywhere from 3-6 months to ensure a strong base.
Phase 2: An abutment is secured to the top of the implant placing a new tooth crown onto the implant abutment. Implants can replace a single tooth, several teeth or your dentures.
Full Arch Implants
If you have slipping dentures and are tired of being self-conscious about the thought of losing them at an inopportune moment, a full arch implant might be the solution for you. Dental implants that can be placed to accept a full arch of teeth. This is done by strategically placing implants along the upper or lower jaw and attaching a denture-like attachment over abutments on the implant posts. Once placed, a full arch using implants will feel and perform like natural teeth. You will be able to chew with confidence and never have to worry again about losing your dentures.
In many situations it is possible to remove the diseased and/or loose teeth and replace them with dental implants at the same time. In almost all situations simultaneous bone grafting is completed. This method of treatment reduces the number of surgical visits. It also speeds up the entire process enabling the implants to be ready to receive (caps/crowns) more quickly.
Implant Supported Dentures
This implant technique, is the optimal solution for those who have lost or are about to lose all of their upper and/or lower teeth. It's a procedure that comes closest to having a new set of permanent teeth.
Mini dental implants (MDI) were developed in order to provide greater denture stability for those patients who:
- Cannot withstand the rigors of conventional dental implant surgery.
- Do not have enough bone to allow full-size implants to be placed.
- Are in on-going therapy from one prosthetic system to another.
The head of the mini implants are shaped like a ball, and the retaining fixture acts like a socket that contains a rubber o-ring. The o-ring snaps over the ball when the denture is seated and holds the denture at a predetermined level of force.
Mini implants can generally be placed start to finish in one to two visits. There is no waiting time for the bone to heal. In many cases, mini implants are placed and the patient walks out with their dentures secured on the same day.
Multiple Tooth Implants
Multiple tooth implants may be placed if you need or desire to permanently replace an extracted or lost tooth. Titanium implant bases are placed into the jawbone to replace the job of the tooth roots. We allow a period of time to allow for the jawbone to heal over the bases before fitting for a crown. Next, abutments are screwed into the bases of the implants to allow crowns to be attached. Finally, custom fabricated crowns are placed over the abutments and will function like a real tooth.
Single Tooth Implants
Do you have missing teeth? It is critically important to replace missing teeth. Eating and chewing with missing teeth can sabotage your bite and lead to incessant discomfort. Missing teeth can give rise to a mouth rearrangement that often results in facial changes that look decrepit.
A single tooth implant procedure may be done if a tooth has been extracted or is missing. A titanium implant base is placed into the jawbone to resemble the tooth root. We allow a period of time for the jawbone to heal over the implant base before fitting for a crown.
Next, an abutment is screwed into the base of the implant to allow for a crown to be fitted on top. Finally, a custom fabricated crown is placed over the abutment to function like a real tooth.
Before making the decision in going the implant route, ask yourself if there is another option. We offer many different implant alternatives.
The different alternative options to implants that we provide are:
- Tooth Supported Bridge
- Removable Partial Denture
- No Treatment