Regular brushing, flossing, and checkups allow many people to maintain their natural smiles for their entire lives. However, sometimes teeth still fail. If you have lost one or more teeth due to injury, decay or gum disease, dental implants could rejuvenate both your smile, your ability to chew and your oral health.
An implant is a tooth root in the shape of a post that is surgically placed into the jawbone below the gum line. It is usually made of titanium, the same material used in many replacement hips and knees, and a metal well suited to pairing with human bone. The post fuses with your jawbone becoming a very stable support for the artificial teeth.
The replacement teeth are made to match your natural teeth and mounted on top of the post. An individual tooth, a group of artificial teeth (a bridge), or an entire denture can be attached to the dental posts. The teeth can be either permanently attached or removable. Permanent teeth are more stable and feel more like natural teeth.
The ideal candidate for implants:
- is a non-smoker who has good oral health
- has sufficient amount of bone in the jaw
- has healthy gums with no sign of gum disease
- willing to commit to keeping the implant structures healthy with meticulous oral hygiene and consistent dental visits
Single or Multiple Implants
Implants are versatile. If you are missing only one tooth, an implant plus a replacement tooth will do the trick. If you are missing several teeth in a row, a few strategically placed implants can support a permanent bridge or set of replacement teeth. If you have lost all of your teeth, a full denture can be permanently fixed in your mouth with a strategic number of implants.
Advantages Over Dentures or Bridges
Conventional bridges and dentures are not fixed to the bone, and can therefore be unstable. This can make it difficult to eat, speak or smile with confidence. Bridges are expected to last only seven to ten years or even less with root canals.
The benefits of Dental Implants include:
- Look more like natural teeth
- Function more like normal teeth with chewing, smiling and speaking
- Provide a stronger biting force
- Stimulate and maintain the health of the jawbone to avoid bone reabsorption following loss of teeth
- Do not compromise the health of your natural teeth since they are not connected to neighboring teeth for support
- Very durable and will typically last a lifetime
- Convient with no soaking or dental adhesives to use
- Enhanced self-confidence and esteem
Treat your replacement teeth the same as natural teeth. Dental implants can accumulate plaque and tartar just as teeth can. They require the same consistent daily brushing and flossing, as well as regular dental checkups with the dentist. Just like your natural teeth, the better you take care of your implants, the longer they will last.
Computer Enhanced Treatment Planning
We use special 3D CAT Scan radiographs for all implant surgeries. This allows us to evaluate your bone quality, bone quantity, and bone location for the best possible placement of your dental implants resulting in the best chance for longterm success.
Autogenous Bone Grafting
Occasionally, ideal areas where dental implants are to be placed do not have sufficient bone quantity to predictably place the implants. In these cases, it is often necessary to take bone from another area of your mouth to graft into the deficient area. Often the area of choice is from inside your chin or in the back of your jaw where your wisdom teeth used to be.
Implant Site Development
When a tooth needs to be removed due to infection, it is common to have bone loss around the infected tooth. In these cases, various types of bone grafting can be done at the same time the tooth is removed to facilitate the placement of a dental implant at a later date.
Sinus Lift Augmentation
After the loss of upper back teeth, your sinuses may enlarge in size. In this case, before new implants replace the lost teeth, a sinus lift augmentation or graft relocates the sinus cavity into its original position and replaces the bone that has been lost as a result of the enlarged sinus. This new bone graft typically takes nine to 12 months to heal before the dental implants can be placed into the grafted bone.