Understanding Dental Implants
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Dental implants are one of the best and most effective restoration procedures in dentistry. We highly recommend dental implants for patients needing to fill gaps created by missing teeth.
Traditions Dental offers high quality dental implants to our local Hoschton, Jefferson, Winder and Braselton communities .
In general, dental implants utilize titanium posts or frames that are surgically positioned into the jawbone beneath your gums. Once in place, we mount or attach replacement teeth onto them. The serve as an ideal replacement tooth and because dental implants interface with your jawbone, they provide fixed support for artificial teeth. Dental implants are not removable inside your mouth, which is beneficial for your overall self-confidence, especially when speaking and eating.
Common reasons for Dental Implants
Dental implants may be the best option if you experience one or more of the following:
Having lost one or more of your natural teeth
Dissatisfaction with loose dentures or partials
Bone loss in the jaw area
Sunken-in look to the face or loss of volume
A broken tooth that restorative dentistry cannot fix
Difficulty chewing, eating, and speaking because of your teeth
An infected tooth that must be pulled out
Individual Dental Implants
The goal of teeth replacement is to restore your tooth’s function as well as esthetics. Dental Implants are a great way to restore a beautiful smile by replacing missing teeth. If you are missing only one tooth, a single dental implant and a crown can easily replace it. Individual dental implants can take the place of a lost natural tooth without sacrificing the health of surrounding teeth.
Dental Implant Procedure: What are the Steps?
Dental implant surgery is usually an outpatient surgery performed in stages, with healing time between procedures. The process of placing a dental implant involves multiple steps, including:
Damaged tooth removal
Jawbone preparation (grafting), when needed
Dental implant placement
Bone growth and healing
Artificial tooth placement
It is important to know that completing a traditional dental implant procedure can take a few months. Each person heals differently. The initial few months is dedicated to healing and waiting for the new bone in your jaw to grow and fuse to the dental implant.
What are the Advantages of Implant Dentistry?
If you are wondering why more patients are becoming interested in this innovative technology, here are the top benefits of dental implants:
A long term solution to tooth loss
Does not require excessive maintenance
Enables natural speech
Matches natural teeth
Only needs the same care as natural teeth
Prevents bone loss in the jaw area
Prevents facial hollowing
Prevents tooth decay and cavities
Reinstates bite force
Supports adjacent teeth
The Dental Implant Procedure
Dental Implants Procedure
Do you have a missing tooth? If so, you are not alone; according to NIH (National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research adults aged 20 to 64 have an average of 24.92 remaining teeth, and 3.75% of adults 20 to 64 have no remaining teeth.
It can be frustrating to have missing teeth especially when it affects your chewing and lowers the quality of your life. Great news! Implants will bring back your missing teeth and restore your confidence.
What is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is made of titanium and acts as a tooth root to replace your missing teeth or support your dentures. In other words, dental implants are the foundation for your new crowns or dentures. Titanium is used because it is biocompatible as it does not cause damage to your body.
In dentistry, dental implants are the gold standard for replacing a tooth. Implants restore your teeth closest to their natural state. Untreated tooth loss increases your risk of tooth decay, and periodontal disease affects your eating, changes your bite and affects your speech.
Parts of an implant restoration
Parts of the implant restoration are the implant, the abutment, and the crown or the denture. The implant is the root or anchor. The abutment is the base where the crown or denture sits. Abutments used for dentures and implants are not the same. There are also "temporary" healing abutments that your dentist places after implant placement before making the final crown or denture.
Advantages of dental implants are:
Dental implants look and feel good, just like your own teeth.
Replacing missing teeth prevents the adjacent teeth from shifting.
Preserves bone and prevents premature aging. As soon as your dentist pulls your teeth, you start losing bone. The longer the teeth are missing, the more bone you lose. Bone loss is why conventional dentures stop fitting well over time. Loss of facial bone makes you look older than you are. Placing an implant soon after tooth loss stimulates the bone, and it stays to support the implants.
Implants prevent your dentures from slipping and sliding, thus improving your speech.
Improves Eating. When you have all your teeth, it's easier to chew food.
Increases your confidence. When your teeth are missing or are severely decayed, it causes you to be self-conscience and prevents you from being your true self.
Ways of replacing teeth with implants
You can replace missing teeth using implants in one of these ways:
Single Implants: - Are used to replace one or two missing teeth when all your other teeth are healthy or savable.
Implant bridges: - Your dentist will recommend these when you have more than two consecutive teeth missing. A conventional implant bridge replaces three or four teeth. If you are missing all your teeth, you can get the non-removable "denture" bridge, usually called an All-on-X. The minimum number of implants placed for an All-on-X is four.
Implant Supported Dentures: - Implants support your dentures, so they are more stable and do not move as much. When your dentist makes an Implant-supported denture for your upper jaw, the denture does not extend as far back or entirely cover the roof of your mouth so you can taste your food better and not gag.
Your dentist will evaluate to determine if you are a candidate for dental implants. They will review your medical and dental history and take x-rays of your mouth. Your dentist may also take a cone beam computed tomography (CT) scan of your mouth to get an in-depth analysis of your jaw. With the Cone beam CT your dentist determines if you have enough bone for the implant and checks how far vital structures are so they can avoid them during surgery.
Your dentist will also review what you should expect during and after surgery and the sedation options offered. They will answer all the questions you have about the procedure.
Implant Placement Appointment
Your dentist will either do a one or two-step implant placement surgery. For one-step surgery, your dentist will pull your tooth, clean the tooth's socket, and place the implant on the same day.
Your dentist will do a two-step surgery; if your tooth is challenging to come out, you have too much infection, or you do not have enough bone to support the implant. Your dentist will do a bone graft and have you return for the implant placement procedure in 3-6 months after tooth extraction.
After placing the implant, your dentist will either put a healing cap over the implant: - your gums will heal over the cap, and you will need another surgery 3-6 months later to expose it and get a healing abutment placed (which is the one that sticks out the gums. If the implant is stable enough, your dentist will place the healing abutment right after the implant placement, and you will not need to have the uncovering appointment.
After both surgeries, your dentist will prescribe you antibiotics to help prevent surgical site infection.
Implant Restoration Appointment
After you heal and your implant is well integrated and part of your jaw bone, your dentist will have you come in to take an impression for your crown, bridge, or denture. Implants on the upper jaw take a minimum of four months to integrate. Implant on the lower jaw takes a minimum of three months to integrate.
Your dentist will send the impression to the lab, and the lab will make your crown or bridge. Your dentist will seat your crown in two to three weeks; however, when getting implant-supported dentures, your dentist will schedule a few more appointments to take your bite and try in the dentures.
From start to finish, the implant process takes anywhere from three to twelve months.
What to Expect After Surgery
After surgery, you will have minor bleeding, your face and gums will swell, and you will have some pain and discomfort at the surgical site. Even though you are sore, practice good oral hygiene, which helps with healing. Avoid using tobacco products and follow all your dentist's post-operative care instructions. Schedule an appointment with us and allows us to take care of your dental health and smile.