Are you self-conscious because of missing teeth, or because you wear dentures that are uncomfortable? Implant dentistry has come a long way and offers restorative solutions that look, feel and function just like your natural teeth. You have no reason to hide your smile anymore!
WHAT ARE IMPLANTS?
Implant Dentistry is categorized as a form of prosthetic, or artificial replacement dentistry, but is also considered a form of cosmetic dentistry. Dental implants are titanium posts that your oral surgeon places into the jawbone, beneath your gum. Once in place, they are ready for replacement, or prosthetic teeth to be mounted on them.
Dental implants act as replacements for roots, giving a strong foundation for fixed or removable replacement teeth or bridges, and are designed to match your teeth. Dentures or bridges mounted to your implants won’t slip or shift in your mouth, enabling you to eat and speak normally.
The process of fusion between your dental implant and jawbone is called osseointegration. Titanium is a material that allows the implants to integrate with the bone without the body identifying it as a foreign material, resulting in excellent outcomes. Today, the success rate for dental implants is about 98%.
Implant surgery is a team effort between an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon and a Restorative Dentist. The former performs the actual implant surgery and initial tooth extractions and bone grafting if necessary, while the restorative dentist fits and makes the permanent prosthesis.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES?
Having a dental implant fused to the jawbone is the closest thing to a natural tooth. By restoring your missing tooth roots, dental implants provide stability to eat all the foods you love, without struggling to chew. Additionally, they help to stimulate and maintain jaw bone, preventing bone loss and supporting your facial features.
Implants are utilized to restore a missing tooth, several teeth, or all of your teeth. The goal of tooth replacement in dentistry is to restore function as well as aesthetics. You will enjoy improved appearance, speech, comfort, and oral health. Dental implants eliminate the need to deal with removable dentures as well as the adhesives you need to keep them in place. Implants are durable and with proper care, may last a lifetime!
TYPES OF IMPLANTS
Historically, there have been two types of dental implants, endosteal and subperiosteal. Endosteal, the most commonly used procedure, refers to implants surgically implanted directly into the bone, while subperiosteal are implants consisting of a metal frame that rests on top of the jawbone under the gum tissue. In both procedures, an artificial tooth (or teeth) is mounted onto the post individually or grouped on a bridge or denture.
WHAT TO EXPECT
During the consultation and planning stage, our dental surgeon will visually examine the site in your mouth where you are considering an implant, as well as look at dental images. The quantity and quality of jawbone is assessed to determine if you will need more bone at the site.
The surgical procedure involves administering a local anesthetic to numb the area, and sedatives if needed to ease any anxiety. The first stage of the oral surgery includes extracting any existing damaged teeth. At times, an alveolar bone graft is required to achieve a stable bone base for your implant. This site will be left to heal for two to six months.
If a site has no teeth and bone loss is present, you may require an onlay bone graft, which involves placing bone material on top of the existing jawbone. This procedure usually entails about six months of healing.
Once adequate bone is present the site is ready for the implant surgery. The dental implant which is a small post made of titanium is placed into the bone socket of the missing tooth. A healing cap covers the implant and the healing phase begins.
During the healing phase, a temporary denture can be made to replace missing teeth. Healing time is usually from two to six months. During this time, the implant becomes integrated with the bone in a process called osseointegration.
After the healing period, we will connect a prosthetic replacement to the dental implant via a screw which is called an abutment. After making an impression of your mouth, we will custom make the implant crown to fit. We will either cement on or secure the implant crown with a screw to the abutment.
We will make sure to match the color of the new teeth to your natural teeth. The resulting replacement teeth look, feel, and function just like your natural teeth. Most people who have received dental implants say that there is little discomfort involved in the procedure.
HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR IMPLANTS
Implants need the same care as your real teeth, including brushing, flossing, rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash, and regular dental check-ups and cleanings.
TALK TO THE EXPERTS
Schedule your consultation with Fortson Dentistry to learn more about dental implants and how they can restore your smile. We will answer any questions and work with you to determine the best restoration procedure for you. Let us help you make tooth loss a thing of the past!