If You Are Considering Dental Restoration Work, Consider Whether Dental Implants May Be for You
If you have lost one or more of your teeth and are considering your options regarding replacement, it is recommended that you spend some time researching dental implants to see if they may be something that would be right for you. Dental implants are essentially steel rods that are fused into your jawbone and act just like the root of a natural tooth. After the implants have healed into your jaw, your dentist can attach artificial teeth to the steel rods. Like some other forms of restorative dental work, a properly installed dental implant is identical in appearance, function, and feel to your natural teeth.
There are a number of ways that a dental implant may be used. You may opt to replace each missing tooth with an individual implant for the most realistic look and feel available. Or, if you are interested in saving some time and keeping your costs down, you could have two implants installed as anchors on either end of a gap in your teeth and have a bridge installed to fill in the gap.
Single Tooth Implants
No longer are bridges and crowns the only options for replacing missing teeth. Dental implants can be an ideal alternative. Dental implants offer great stability and convenience for treating single tooth extractions due to disease or damage. The dental implant is fused to the bone, and a crown is cemented to the implant, resulting in a natural-looking smile and full oral function.
Single dental implants can be used to replace a single tooth, or they can be used as an anchor for a dental appliance.
Multiple Tooth Implants
Multiple dental implants can be used to replace or retain not only crowns but other dental appliances including a dental bridge, a partial denture or a full denture on either arch.
Depending on the patient’s need, we can incorporate implants to retain a single dental crown, as an anchor for one or both sides of a dental bridge, or to permanently retain a partial or full denture. Full dentures can be retained using between four and six implants.
Having your dental prosthetic held in place with implants is an excellent option. Implants are the only way to get the same stability that your natural tooth provides.
Full Arch Replacement with All on 4
If you lose an entire arch of teeth, whether it is your top jaw or your bottom jaw, you may be a candidate for an implant supported a denture. This restoration uses 6 to 8 posts implanted into your jawbone, which support an entire arch of replacement teeth. However, bone loss begins shortly after tooth loss. If you lose too much bone mass, you may not have enough left to support the required implants. The All-on-4 treatment concept is designed to provide dental implants for those missing an entire arch of teeth who do not have sufficient bone mass to support 6 to 8 implants while avoiding the need for a bone graft. This treatment uses only four dental implants, which are strategically placed to take advantage of the bone mass you do have.
Preparatory Steps Before Implants
Depending on the work being done, you may have to participate in preparatory steps before implant placement. We may need to:
|•||Restore the Health of your gums: Your periodontal tissue, also known as gum tissue, is used to surround and support your teeth. Patients who suffer from active and chronic periodontal disease suffer from a loss of gum tissue. We may find it necessary to remove any active infection and rebuild tissue loss before your implant surgery.
|•||Bone Graft: Many implant procedures require the step of increasing the bulk of available bone before the surgical implantation of the implant. In some cases, such as denture placement, we use longer implants designed to reach the denser bone. Otherwise, the healthy bone at the implant site is needed. A bone graft is a simple procedure but can require many months to grow the needed bone.|
The placement of your dental implant is done in our office, often with just a local anesthetic, though we can prescribe a conscious sedative when needed. Once the patient is comfortable, we then open the tissue to expose the bone. Using the treatment map that we created before surgery and a specialized drill, we create a space in the bone to receive the implant.
The implant resembles a screw in size and shape, with a threaded end that is sunk into the bone. As the bone heals, it will grow around the threaded end, bonding the two firmly together. After the implant is placed, we suture the area closed and send the patient home for healing. Patients who are having a denture placed will have the entire procedure done in one day. Otherwise, we may ask you to return after several months of healing before placing your dental prosthetic.
Types of Implants
There are three different types of dental implants available; the type that you use will be determined by the width of your jaw or your jaw’s ability to accept a traditional implant. Your dentist will help you to determine which style of implant is appropriate for your situation.
The first type of implant—and the one which is most commonly used when possible—is called a root implant. When installing a root implant, your dentist will first numb the area to deaden any pain, cut through your gum to your jawbone. He or she will then drill a hole in your jawbone and insert the dental implant itself. The dental implant is in the shape of a ridged metal rod with a socket in the top of it. This rod fulfills the same function as the root of a natural tooth.
After you have had time for the jawbone to fuse to the dental implant you will return to the dentist to complete the process. This second visit is typically from 3 to 8 months after your initial surgery. Your return visit, your dentist will screw an anchor into the socket on the top of the implant. Then he or she will attach an artificial tooth to the anchor. This tooth will be identical in appearance to your other natural teeth and nobody will be able to tell that it is artificial.
This second type of dental implant is called a plate implant. Plate implants are used when your dentist feels that your jaw is too narrow or otherwise unable to fuse to a traditional dental implant. The metal run used for a plate implant is narrower than the one used for a root implant. Although it is installed in the same manner as a root implant, a plate implant may be completely installed in a single visit.
The last type of implant is called a subperiosteal implant and it is used when your dentist determines that your jawbone will be unable to accept a metal implant of any type. This type of implant does not go into your bone and—as such—it is not as stable or durable as a traditional root implant is.
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Things to Consider
Although a dental implants—especially root implants—are the most realistic of dental restorations, they may not be appropriate for every patient in every situation. They do tend to cost more than other options and they involve slightly more trauma to have them installed. If you are considering dental implants please talk to the experts at the Hillsboro Dental Center today and let us help you explore your options.
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