Should I consider dental implants?
A dental implant or implants are one of the newest and best advancements modern dentistry has to offer. Implants allow us to replace missing teeth, anchor fixed partial dentures or complete removable dentures, or even allow a person who is wearing complete dentures or is faced with wearing complete dentures to have a complete fixed dentition just like their own natural teeth before they were lost.
When describing a dental implant, the best comparison is to that of a natural tooth. The part of your teeth that you use to chew and that you can see is called the crown of the tooth. This crown is supported by the part of the tooth embedded in bone which is called the root. An implant is basically a replacement for the root of a missing tooth. When placed in your jaw, an implant becomes firmly attached to the bone. The cells in our bone have a strong affinity for the titanium in the implant, and during integration, the implant actually fuses to the bone. Once this process takes place (typically in 6 weeks to 6 months) we can use an attachment to the implant called an abutment to attach a crown, bridge, or denture to the implant.
Is a dental implant your best solution?
When both the tooth and root are damaged beyond repair, the best permanent replacement is a single-tooth implant: a single unit combining a dental implant with a ceramic crown. Usually, the implant will also get a post or abutment screwed onto it to support the ceramic crown.
This solution both looks and functions just like a natural tooth. Often, depending on the patient’s mouth, an immediately functioning temporary tooth can be placed. This helps to create an excellent aesthetic result, with shorter treatment time and minimized pain.
If you are missing a tooth or teeth, or are faced with losing a tooth or teeth, dental implants may be the most natural tooth replacement available. Implants are rapidly becoming the restoration of choice for replacing missing teeth.
Dental implants can be the best solution for the person wearing complete dentures. As few as two implants may be placed and either a new denture fabricated or the existing denture retrofitted to attach to the implants. This allows a greater degree of stability and retention than ever possible with traditional complete dentures.
Other choices to dental implants
Alternative choices to implant dentistry include: cemented (fixed) bridges, removable partial dentures, a combination of fixed and removable, or complete dentures.
How long does it take for dental implants?
Depending on your situation, implant dentistry can be accomplished in 3 to 4 visits over the course of 6 to 8 months. More complicated case may take longer. Under the proper circumstances, a tooth can be placed on an implant the same day the implant is placed. Dental implants look and feel so natural, you may forget you ever lost a tooth.
Risks of dental implants
Once an implant is placed, the biggest risk to its success is perio-implant infection, very much like periodontal disease. Continued care with our hygiene department is crucial to long-term success.