Dental implants can seem somewhat like science fiction if you are unfamiliar with the technology. If you are missing a tooth, we can place a screw in your gums and provide you with a replacement tooth that you can treat just like the tooth you were born with.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are simply metal frames or posts that we position surgically into your jawbone under your gums. Once your implant is in place, it allows us to mount a replacement tooth onto it.
Since your dental implant will be fused to your jawbone, it offers firm support for the placement of an artificial tooth. If we need to mount dentures or bridges to an implant, they will not shift or slip inside of your mouth, which is particularly important when you are eating and speaking.
For some patients, conventional dentures and bridges are not an option because they are uncomfortable, have poor ridges, or cause gagging. Traditional bridges must also be attached to teeth on the side of the space remaining from the missing tooth. With implants, your adjacent teeth do not need any preparation to firmly hold a replacement tooth.
What makes dental implants a better choice than dentures or bridges?
The natural roots of your teeth are firmly fixed within your jawbone, offering a stable foundation that allows for proper tooth function. When a tooth is removed or lost, the underlying bone begins to deteriorate and melt away. Dental implants serve as substitute tooth roots to help preserve the bone underneath the artificial tooth. This prevents problems like bone loss or your surrounding teeth shifting over time and having a negative impact on your bite, smile, and even your facial appearance.
Would I make a good candidate for a dental implant?
To receive a dental implant, you must have adequate bone for supporting the implant and healthy gums. You will need to practice good dental hygiene to maintain the health of these structures.
What types of dental implants are there?
Endosteal Dental Implants: This is a popular form of implant that is typically used as part of a two-stage procedure. They have the shape of small screws and are normally made from titanium. We use a surgical procedure to place the implant into your jaw. Then we will place a temporary tooth over that implant.
In a few weeks or months, we will allow your mouth to heal and check your progress periodically. When the healing process is complete, we will schedule a second procedure to attach an abutment and a permanent crown.
Subperiosteal Dental Implants: This kind of implant is constructed with a metal framework instead of tiny screws. We normally will place it over your bone instead of directly into the jawbone. Rather than placing it under your gums and being almost invisible, it will be exposed to hold your crown or bridge. This implant option can be used for those who do not have a healthy jawbone and cannot or do not prefer to undergo a bone grafting procedure.
What option is best for me?
The answer depends upon your individual needs and goals. We can help you determine what treatment option is best for you at your initial consultation. Some individuals suffering from certain health conditions that cause bone loss may not be eligible for the treatment; however, most people make good candidates for dental implants.
The type of dental implant that you receive will be made of only the highest quality materials and function well for your particular situation and needs.