What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are titanium anchors we implant into the jawbone that hold replacement teeth in place. We attach the implant root, which sits in the jawbone beneath the gum line and the visible tooth, or crown. Implants look and feel much like natural teeth. They support individual artificial teeth, bridges, and dentures.
Am I A Candidate For Dental Implants?
Dental implants are an option for patients who have lost one or more teeth, cannot chew or smile comfortably, or are unhappy with dentures. Candidates for dental implants must be in overall good health and have strong gums and bones. Patients must follow excellent oral hygiene, which includes brushing, flossing and regular dental examinations. Patients with a high risk of developing periodontal or gum disease, such as smokers and diabetics, may not be good candidates for dental implants. Dentists will review the patient’s oral health and take X-rays to determine their eligibility.
Dental Implant Procedure
The First Step – One or more implants are precisely placed into the jaw bone to mirror the location of the root of the missing natural tooth.
The Second Step – After appropriate healing time has taken place, to allow for the implant to fuse within the bone, impressions of the teeth and bite are taken to custom fabricate a connector post or abutment, and crown.
The Final Step – The abutment and crown are attached to the implant, completing the process.
First, implants, which looks like screws, are placed into your jaw. Then, over the next two to six months, the implants and the bone are allowed to bond together to form anchors for your artificial teeth. During this time, a temporary teeth replacement option can be worn over the implant sites.
Occasionally, a second step of the procedure is necessary to uncover the implants and attach extensions. These small metal posts, called abutments, along with various connecting devices that allow multiple crowns to attach to the implants, complete the foundation on which your new teeth will be placed. Your gums will be allowed to heal for a couple of weeks following this procedure.
There are some implant systems (one-stage) that do not require this second step. These systems use an implant which already has the extension piece attached. Your periodontist will advise you on which system is best for you.
Depending upon the number of implants placed, the connecting device that will hold your new teeth can be tightened down on the implant, or it may be a clipped to a bar or a round ball anchor to which a denture snaps on and off.
Finally, full bridges or full dentures will be created for you and attached to your implants or the connecting device. After a short time, you will experience restored confidence in your smile and your ability to chew and speak.
Dental Implant Benefits
Dental implant reconstruction provides several advantages over other teeth replacement options. These advantages include the following:
- Look like natural teeth and are long lasting
- Your bone is better preserved
- Easier to maintain in comparison to conventional dentures
In addition to looking and functioning like natural teeth, implant-supported full bridges or dentures are designed to be long lasting. Implant-supported full bridges and dentures also are more comfortable and stable than conventional dentures, allowing you to retain a more natural biting and chewing capacity.
In addition, because implant-supported full bridges and dentures will replace some of your tooth roots, your bone is better preserved. With conventional dentures, the bone that previously surrounded the tooth roots begins to resorb (deteriorate). Dental implants integrate with your jawbone, helping to keep the bone healthy and intact.
In the long term, implants can be more esthetic and easier to maintain than conventional dentures. The loss of bone that accompanies conventional dentures leads to recession of the jawbone and a collapsed, unattractive smile. Conventional dentures make it difficult to eat certain foods.
Dental Implant Risks
Dental implant surgery is a relatively safe procedure. As with any other surgery, some risks may exist. These risks may include complications from surgery, such as excessive bleeding and a reaction to anesthesia. The dentist will discuss the risks in greater detail prior to the surgery.
Maintaining Dental Implants
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!
After treatment, Sindledecker Dentistry will work closely with you and your dentist to develop the best care plan for you. Periodic follow-up visits will be scheduled to monitor your implant, teeth and gums to make sure they are healthy.
Will The New Teeth Feel Natural?
Yes, dental implants look and feel much like natural teeth. We construct the implants to mimic real teeth and fuse them to the jawbone so they feel secure. Implants are often more comfortable and fit better than other replacement options.