Every way you look at it, dental implants are a better solution for the problem of missing teeth. A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that a periodontist or oral surgeon places into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge. Dental implants are an ideal option for people in good general oral health who have lost a tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease, an injury, or some other reason. While high-tech in nature, dental implants are actually more tooth-saving than traditional bridgework, since implants do not rely on neighboring teeth for support.
What Do Dental Implants Fix?
- Replace one or more teeth without affecting bordering teeth.
- Support a bridge and eliminate the need for a removable partial denture.
- Provide support for a denture, making it more secure and comfortable.
- Aesthetic: Dental implants are so natural-looking and feeling, you may forget you ever lost a tooth. Since dental implants integrate into the structure of your bone, they prevent the bone loss and gum recession that often accompany bridgework and dentures. No one will ever know that you have a replacement tooth.
- Tooth-saving: Dental implants don’t sacrifice the quality of your adjacent teeth like a bridge does because neighboring teeth are not altered to support the implant. More of your own teeth are left untouched, a significant long-term benefit to your oral health!
- Confidence: Dental implants will allow you to once again speak and eat with comfort and confidence! They are secure and offer freedom from the irksome clicks and wobbles of dentures. They’ll allow you to say goodbye to worries about misplaced dentures and messy pastes and glues.
- Reliable: The success rate of dental implants is highly predictable. They are considered an excellent option for tooth replacement. Under proper conditions, diligent patient maintenance, implants can last a lifetime. Long-term studies continue to show improving success rates for implants.
The Perfect Candidate:
If you’re in good general and oral health, then you may be a good candidate. Adequate bone in your jaw is needed to support the implant, and the best candidates have healthy gum tissues that are free of periodontal disease. Dental implants are intimately connected with the gum tissues and underlying bone in the mouth. One of the oral surgeons or periodontists in our network will evaluate your particular circumstances to evaluate whether or not you’re a candidate and if there are any complications for implant placement. Once it has been decided that implants are the right course of treatment, we will work closely with the specialist to achieve the ideal result. The oral surgeon or periodontist will focus on the implant placement, and we will provide the restorative dentistry (crowns) that fits to your implant.
- Endosteal (in the bone): This is the most commonly used type of implant. The various types include screw, cylinders or blades surgically placed into the jawbone. Each implant holds one or more prosthetic tooth. This type of implant is generally used as an alternative for patients with bridges or removable dentures.
- Subperiosteal (on the bone): These are placed on top of the jaw with the metal framework’s posts protruding through the gum to hold the prosthesis. These types of implants are used for patients who are unable to wear conventional dentures and who have minimal bone height.
The Procedure Options:
- Replacing a Single Tooth: If you are missing a single tooth, one implant and a crown can replace it. A dental implant replaces both the lost natural tooth and its root.
- Replacing Several Teeth: If you are missing several teeth, implant-supported bridges can replace them. Dental implants will replace both your lost natural teeth and some of the roots.
- Replacing All of Your Teeth: If you are missing all of your teeth, an implant-supported full bridge or full denture can replace them. Dental implants will replace both your lost natural teeth and some of the roots.
- Sinus Augmentation: A key to implant success is the quantity and quality of the bone where the implant is to be placed. The upper back jaw has traditionally been one of the most difficult areas to successfully place dental implants due to insufficient bone quantity and quality and the close proximity to the sinus. Sinus augmentation can help correct this problem by raising the sinus floor and developing bone for the placement of dental implants.
- Ridge Modification: Deformities in the upper or lower jaw can leave you with inadequate bone in which to place dental implants. To correct the problem, the gum is lifted away from the ridge to expose the bony defect. The defect is then filled with bone or bone substitute to build up the ridge. Ridge modification has been shown to greatly improve appearance and increase your chances for successful implants that can last for years to come.
As you know, your own teeth require conscientious at-home oral care and regular dental visits. Dental implants are like your own teeth and will require the same care. In order to keep your implant clean and plaque-free, brushing and flossing still apply!