Why Dental Implants?
Have you ever thought it would be nice to eat dinner at a restaurant without having your lower denture flop around or worry about being embarrassed from dentures popping out? Have you recently lost a tooth and want a replacement as close to the original as possible? Then implants may be an option for you.
Dental implants are a titanium post that is placed or rotated into a prepared space in the bone of the upper or lower jaw. The implant replaces the root of a tooth. The surface of the implant, depending on the brand, has a patented proprietary cover that allows for bone to integrate and attach securing the implant to the jaw bone. At the top of the implant an abutment is attached that protrudes above the gum. This abutment is usually attached to the implant with a screw. Different abutments can be attached to the implant depending on its requirements. Abutments can be used to retain crowns or dentures. For example, a typical use for an implant is to replace a missing tooth by placing the implant in the space and attaching an abutment that can support a crown. Once the crown has been placed implants are often indistinguishable from natural teeth.
Depending on the situation dental implants can be placed at the time of extraction or later after the extraction site has healed. The procedure involves dental “freezing” and then preparation of the space in the bone for the implant to be placed. The implant is placed into the bone and a healing abutment or screw is secured to cover the head of the implant while healing and integration take place. In some situations an abutment can be placed with a temporary crown. If a temporary crown is not placed and it is in an area where you can see the space when you smile a flipper partial denture can be fabricated for the patient as a temporary measure while waiting for the implant to integrate into the bone. Patients will need to wait 3-6 months for the bone to fuse and secure the implant. Once this occurs the new artificial teeth can be affixed to the implants.
Implants can also have abutments attached that allow for dentures to be secured in place with screws permanently or with locators, a type of clip that allows the patient to remove and clean the denture. Having dentures secured in this way dramatically increases the stability of the denture. This is particularity noticeable on lower complete dentures. Complete lower dentures typically flop and move around because of tongue movement during speech and eating. This makes basic function very difficult. By placing just two implants with locators in the lower jaw function is improved significantly.
Implants are quickly becoming the preferred method to treat tooth loss over bridges because the teeth on either side of the space don’t need to be prepared to support the bridge. They also have become popular because their success rate is very high and the cost relative to a bridge is not much greater. Generally speaking patient satisfaction ratings with implants are very high.
Implants once integrated into the bone are very durable and rarely fail. Individuals who are concerned about whether they will be able to speak normally or eat the foods they love after losing teeth may find that implants are the perfect choice. With proper planning and care at the Advance Dental Group we can find solutions to missing teeth that return beauty back to a patients smile while increasing their quality of life and function. Call us today for more details about our implants.