If you are missing a tooth or teeth, you may be considering dental implants. Implants are a tooth replacement option used to replace any teeth that may be missing or that need to be removed for one reason or another.
Types of Dental Implants
There are several different types of implants that you may receive when you want to replace a missing tooth or teeth. The type of implant that is right for you will depend on your consultation with one of our dentists.
Single Tooth Implants
Single tooth implants are exactly as they sound and they replace a single missing tooth from your mouth. This is often a solution when patients need to have a tooth removed due to dental decay or trauma that has occurred to a single tooth. In addition, single tooth implants are ideal when a patient may be missing on tooth or two teeth on the bottom row and then one on the top row.
If a patient is missing all of the teeth in their mouth or they need to have all teeth pulled, full-mouth implants are the best solution.
Implant-Supported Dentures and Bridges
If you do not want to have dental implants, you can choose to have implant-supported dentures. These dentures will lock into implant posts that are placed in your jaw and remain in place as a permanent tooth replacement option. In addition to dentures, you can choose to have an implant-supported bridge that will act like a traditional bridge to replace several missing teeth, but it will not be cemented in place and instead supported with implants like the dentures.
Am I a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?
To determine if you are a good candidate for dental implants, you will need to come in for a consultation and have an examination performed. Our dentist will look over your teeth to determine if there are any underlying problems that need to be corrected first. Some underlying problems may include tooth decay or gum disease.
In addition, your dentist will need to determine if any of your teeth can be saved or if they need to be pulled. If there is a problem with your teeth, we will create a treatment plan for you.
Once all corrections have been made, your dentist will determine if there is enough bone in your jaw to support dental implants. If not, then you may need to undergo an additional procedure to add bone to your jaw.
Once your teeth are in good shape, you are healthy, and you have enough bone, you will be a good candidate for the procedure.
How is the Procedure Performed?
When you come in for the dental implant procedure, titanium posts will be surgically implanted into your mouth. You will need to allow these posts to heal and your jaw bone to heal for some time before the abutments can be placed on the implants.
Once the jaw is healed, the abutments are placed on the implants and then the crowns will be attached to the abutments.
Sinus Augmentation: A key to implant success is the quantity and quality of the bone where the implant is to be placed. The upper back jaw has traditionally been one of the most difficult areas to successfully place dental implants due to insufficient bone quantity and quality and the close proximity to the sinus. Sinus augmentation can help correct this problem by raising the sinus floor and developing bone for the placement of dental implants.
Ridge Modification: Deformities in the upper or lower jaw can leave you with inadequate bone in which to place dental implants. To correct the problem, the gum is lifted away from the ridge to expose the bony defect. The defect is then filled with bone or bone substitute to build up the ridge. Ridge modification has been shown to greatly improve appearance and increase your chances for successful implants that can last for years to come.
What can I expect after receiving a dental implant?
As you know, your own teeth require conscientious at-home oral care and regular dental visits. Dental implants are like your own teeth and will require the same care. In order to keep your implant clean and plaque-free, brushing and flossing still apply!
After treatment, your periodontist will work closely with you and your dentist to develop the best care plan for you. Periodic follow-up visits will be scheduled to monitor your implant, teeth and gums to make sure they are healthy.