Dental implants are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth that look, feel, and function like natural teeth. The person who has lost teeth regains the ability to eat virtually anything and can smile with confidence, knowing that the teeth appear natural and that facial contours will be preserved. Dental implants can help maintain the facial structure by preventing the bone deterioration that occurs when teeth are missing. Dental implants are changing the way people live! With dental implants, people are rediscovering the comfort and confidence to eat, speak, laugh, and enjoy life.
WHAT ARE DENTAL IMPLANTS
Dental implants are titanium posts that are placed into the jawbone. Over a short healing period, the jawbone grows around these posts and fortifies their place in the bone. Once a post has healed into the bone, a prosthetic tooth is placed over this post, and you can resume your normal eating and drinking activities.
Dental implants can be used to restore a single tooth or multiple teeth. They can also serve as supports for bridges and dentures. Dental implants are quite amazing!
Not only are implants applicable in a wide range of circumstances, dental implants are superior to your traditional prosthetics. Instead of only replacing the crown of a lost tooth, they also replace the missing dental roots. As a result, they restore your dental functions back to normal, providing you with improved bite force and superior aesthetics. In addition, they are long-lasting just like natural teeth.
Solid Implant Facts
Aside from their obvious benefits, teeth are extremely important to our oral health. They not only allow us to eat and speak, but they also provide a sturdy foundation for both the top and bottom jawbones. Tooth loss not only compromises the look of your smile, but it also compromises the structure of your mouth. After a tooth is removed from the mouth, the bone around that tooth begins to reabsorb into the body. Because there is no tooth to keep it in place, the bone will continue to deteriorate. A dental implant is an incredible technological device that protects the integrity of the underlying jawbone while providing an aesthetic and fully functional prosthetic tooth to replace the one that was lost.
Each time you enjoy a meal, the bite pressure exerted as you chew is transferred from your teeth to the bone of your jaw. At the site of a lost tooth, no bite pressure is received by the bone. As a result, the jawbone atrophies. Over time, the density of the bone is reduced, making your face look older due to the lack of structural support. Also, nearby teeth may begin to loosen in their sockets from the reduction in jawbone density.
Dental implants are impervious to decay. Since implants and the crowns that may be connected to them are not made of natural tooth material, they do not decay. Still, it is important to clean the implant crown and the gums around it properly because the natural teeth remaining in your mouth are still subject to developing cavities from the bacterial acid released by the microbes in your mouth.
Dental implants take between 3-6 months to completely heal. The implants undergo a process called osseointegration, which allows the implants and the bone of your jaw to integrate or fuse together as the implant wound heals.
Placing dental implants is an extremely predictable and common procedure. Dental implants can be installed in your dentist’s office. In addition, the procedure is not lengthy and only requires local anesthesia.
Due to new dental technology, dentures are also an innovative new way to halt the progression of bone loss that was once associated with denture usage.
IMPLANTS CAN REPLACE TEETH IN MULTIPLE WAYS
Single tooth implants – these are used when one tooth is missing.
Implant supported bridge – these can replace multiple teeth in a row. They will replace a minimum of 3 teeth, however the maximum teeth it can replace will be determined by the surgeon.
Implant supported dentures or partials – these are dentures or partials that will either snap or clip into place. They are removable for cleaning purposes.
Implant supported hybrid dentures – these are dentures that are permanently secured into place. They can only be removed by a dental professional.
The process for each implant type is different for each person. Details will be reviewed during the examination appointment with Dr Brazdo.
New denture technology allows your dentist to place dental implants into your jawbone. Your dentures will attach to the implants while the implants provide reinforcement for your fragile jawbone. By utilizing dental implants, your profile will not change and you will be able to enjoy a fully functioning set of teeth without worrying about intraoral adhesives commonly used to keep dentures from slipping. On average, the surgeon will use 4 implants for a lower denture and 6 implants for an upper denture. Some cases may require more or less implants. The surgeon will determine this at the time of the implant consultation.
TWO TYPES OF IMPLANT DENTURES
Removable Implant Supported Dentures – These dentures will snap into the implants and are removable for easy cleaning.
Implant Supported Hybrid Denture – These dentures are secured with screws to the dental implant and can only be removed with help from a dental professional.
CONDITIONS THAT MAY AFFECT YOUR IMPLANT SUCCESS
Smokers also have an increased likelihood of dental implant problems. Irritants from the tobacco can prevent the soft tissues of the mouth from healing quickly and properly around the dental implants. In addition, smokers sometimes have reduced blood-oxygen levels, and the lack of oxygen may slow wound healing as well.
Poorly controlled blood sugar:
Although people with diabetes have a high rate of success when it comes to dental implants, poorly controlled blood sugar can increase the likelihood of implant failure. If you suffer from diabetes, it is important to adhere to your doctor’s recommendations concerning medication, diet and exercise before, during and after your implant placement.
In order for an implant to be successful, the dental implant must remain in position within the bone. If implants are shifted out of place, they will not reconnect to the bone tissue. As a result, a new implant restoration would be required. Since implant patients who grind their teeth at night experience a great deal of bite pressure, it is important for them to wear a mouthguard to protect their dental implants from the bite force of the grinding.
If your jawbone is too thin to support the placement of traditional dental implants, your dentist may recommend a bone graft or different types of implants. A bone graft can be performed by adding bone that is harvested from another area of your body, a cadaver, or an animal to your existing jawbone. If a bone graft is not desired, a mini implant or a zygomatic implant may be appropriate. Mini dental implants are smaller in size and require less bone for support. Zygomatic implants are installed in the cheekbone instead of the bone of the jaw. Both types of implants can be used in the same manner as traditional implants, including for the support of bridges and dentures.
EVALUATION FOR DENTAL IMPLANTS
If, like many others, you feel implant dentistry is the choice for you, we ask that you undergo a dental/radiographic examination and health history. During these consultation visits, your specific needs and considerations will be addressed by Dr. Brazdo or by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon referred by our practice. Your questions and concerns are important to us, and our team will work with you very closely to help make your procedure affordable and a success.