If you’re missing one or more teeth, dental implants may be right for you. Implants can restore the look and function of your smile and bite, enhancing your overall oral health. Made of durable materials, dental implants can last a lifetime, and seamlessly blend in with the rest of your natural teeth so you can smile with confidence.
Unlike your natural teeth, dental implants aren’t affected by tooth decay.
First, your dentist will meet with you to find out if dental implants are right for your oral health needs. They’ll perform a thorough exam of your mouth, including going over your x-rays and ensuring your jaw bone is healthy enough to support implants. Together, you and your dentist will decide if dental implants will provide the restoration your smile needs, or if your grin would be better suited to alternative restorative options.
Once your treatment has been approved, your dentist will schedule your oral surgery appointment and provide a detailed treatment plan. During the procedure, your dentist will make a small opening in your gums and place a small, screw-shaped titanium implant into your jaw. Your dentist will then clean and disinfect the area and suture it closed to begin the healing process.
Once your implants have been placed, your gums will begin to heal right away. Most patients heal completely from the initial surgery in less than 2 weeks. However, the implant itself must be given time to permanently bond with the jaw bone through a process called “osseointegration,” which can take anywhere between 3-6 months to complete.
While your implant is bonding with your jaw, you’ll visit our office for a few follow-up appointments to ensure the healing process is going properly. Your dentist will examine your mouth and take impressions of your bite. These impressions will be sent to our trusted dental lab, where they will craft the custom crown, bridge, or arch of teeth that will eventually be fitted to your dental implant.
Once the lab has sent over your completed prosthetic, and your implant has completely bonded with your natural bone, you’ll visit us again for your final appointment. During this visit, your dentist will complete the procedure by attaching the restoration to your dental implant, and permanently securing it with dental cement or another adhesive.
One of the major advantages to dental implants is that they don’t require specialized care. Just practice good oral hygiene by brushing at least twice a day and flossing daily, and visit your dentist every six months for regular cleanings and oral exams. Keeping up good oral health habits can help your dental implant last a lifetime.
Single tooth implants are the most-commonly used dental implant, and consist of two primary parts. The dental implant, or post, is a rod made of titanium and shaped like a screw. A dental crown is a tooth-shaped “cap” that is attached to the implant post, and is used to complete the restoration.
To place a single tooth implant, the post is embedded directly into the jaw, where it bonds permanently with the surrounding bone tissue. While the gum is healing, a dental crown is crafted, and is eventually attached to the implant post with an “abutment.” This dental crown will mirror the shape, function, and appearance of a natural tooth to give your smile a natural look and feel. Made from durable materials, single tooth implants can last for decades, and, unlike a partial denture, will never shift, or move around.
Full-arch implants are a secure, durable alternative to traditional dentures for those patients who are missing all, or most, of their teeth. By placing a series of 4-6 dental implants per arch, you can enjoy the look and function of a new smile that can stand the test of time.
These dental implants function like artificial roots that allow fixed dental bridges or a set of removable implant-supported overdentures to permanently bond to the jaw and gum line to restore your smile. Full-arch implants look and feel much more natural than traditional dentures, and will never shift or move when you eat or speak.
For patients looking to permanently replace a full set of missing teeth, implant-retained dentures are among the most secure solutions available. After placing 4 or more implants in your jaw, the complete set of dentures is affixed to the anchors. Implant-retained dentures cannot be removed at home for daily cleaning, but that means patients with implant-retained dentures can brush and clean their smile like they would a set of natural teeth.
Patients who have lost all or most of their teeth can restore their smile with All-On-4 dental implants. By using just 4 implants, your entire upper or lower set of teeth can be restored in a single visit. All-On-4 is a much more permanent and natural-looking alternative to dentures, and is more cost-effective than replacing each tooth individually.
Dental implants have the potential to last a lifetime.
Dental implants are made of two main parts: the implant itself, which is a screw-shaped titanium “post”, and the restorative component, usually a dental crown and abutment. A wide range of post sizes are available to ensure every patient gets an implant that fits their smile perfectly. On the other hand, the restoration is a custom-made prosthetic. Once your dentist has completed the placement of your dental implant, they will create impressions of your teeth and gums to send to a dental lab.
The lab will use these impressions to craft a long-lasting dental implant restoration. Most are crafted out of porcelain or another durable composite material. Once the restoration is complete, the lab will send it back to our office, and you’ll come in for your final visit. Your dentist will complete the restoration by securely affixing your dental prosthetic to your implant.
Placed properly, and maintained with good oral hygiene habits, dental implants can last for decades. It’s very common for patients to keep their implants for the rest of their lives.
The restoration, on the other hand, may not last as long. Although restorations like dental crowns, bridges, or overdentures are made from durable materials, they are still exposed to regular wear from chewing and biting. Over time, restorations will likely need to be replaced to keep your smile healthy and functional.
Although it’s a rare complication, dental implants can become infected. Known as “peri-implantitis,” a dental implant infection is generally the result of the implant not being kept clean or cared for properly after surgery.
To avoid peri-implantitis and maintain your oral health, carefully follow your dentist’s instructions during recovery, and be sure to brush and floss regularly once your implant is healed.
Yes. Bone resorption, or bone loss, occurs when your jaw is no longer stimulated by the natural pressure that comes from chewing and biting. Losing a tooth stops this regular stimulation, causing the jaw bone to weaken over time.
Dental implants bond directly with the jaw bone, acting as artificial roots that transmit the force of chewing and biting into your jaw bone, providing stimulation and pressure to keep you from losing bone density.
There are indeed several types of dental implants that can be completed in a single visit. The restoration will be a temporary appliance to keep your bite functional until you have finished healing from your dental implant placement surgery. With this temporary restoration, you’ll be able to speak and eat normally throughout the healing process.
Throughout the healing process, which usually lasts between 3-6 months, your dentist will schedule a series of follow-up visits, to monitor your progress and to take impressions of your teeth. These impressions will be sent to our dental lab, where they will be used to create your own custom-made restoration, which will be a more permanent, durable, and natural-looking prosthetic than your temporaries.
If you lack sufficient and healthy bone structure to support an implant, you simply won’t be eligible to receive dental implants. There are many reasons why you may not have enough bone density, such as suffering from gum disease, tooth decay, tooth loss that has gone untreated for a long time, tooth decay, teeth grinding, and injury.
However, just because you currently lack sufficient bone support doesn’t mean you can’t become eligible for dental implants. You will need to undergo a bone grafting procedure to build up the bone in your jaw by transferring it from elsewhere in your mouth.
If you have active gum disease, tooth decay, or other infections, these will need to be treated before you can receive a bone graft. The grafting procedure will need about 3 months to heal before you can undergo implant surgery. Sometimes a sinus lift may be needed to create enough space to create additional bone and this can add to the healing waiting time.
Not everyone needs a bone graft for dental implants. The longer you have waited to replace a tooth, the more bone loss you will suffer from. If you are in good oral health, you likely have good and healthy gums and jawbone, and vice versa. We will need to take x-rays to assess how much bone support you have and we can inform you if we can move forward with the implant procedure without bone grafts.
This depends on if you require additional preparatory surgeries such as bone grafting or sinus lifts. In terms of the implant procedure itself, you will need about 2 weeks to heal after the first oral surgery. However, it takes 3 to 6 months for osseointegration to be complete.
This is when the jawbone grows around the implant and they fuse, forming an artificial root. After this, we can reopen the gums to attach the abutment in a second oral surgery. It will take up to another 2 weeks for your gums to heal. Impressions are used to create your dental crown, which can be placed about 6 weeks later.
If you are in good oral and overall health, are missing teeth, and have sufficient bone support, then yes, you are an excellent candidate for dental implants. You should not have any active oral health problems such as tooth decay or gum disease. If you do not have enough bone structure to support implants, you will need to get a bone graft.
Dental implants are made of titanium, one of the most durable, and lightest metals.
© PS Dental 2019