Dental implants are a great way to replace missing teeth and also provide a fixed solution, eliminating removable partial or complete dentures. Implants can also provide excellent support and stability for removable partial or complete dentures.
Dental implants are artificial roots and teeth (usually titanium) that are surgically placed into the upper or lower jaw bone. The restorative dentist usually works in close collaboration with a surgeon (usually a periodontist or oral surgeon). The final implant restoration is determined prior to implant placement because this will dictate where the implants are positioned in the jaw bone. Once the surgeon has placed the implants, the restorative dentist will complete the implant restoration. The teeth attached to implants are very natural looking and often enhance or restore a patient’s smile!
Dental implants are very strong, stable, and durable and will last many years, but on occasion, they will have to be re-tightened or replaced due to normal wear.
Reasons for dental implants:
Replace one or more missing teeth without affecting adjacent teeth.
Resolve joint pain or bite problems caused by teeth shifting into missing tooth space.
Restore a patient’s confident smile.
Restore chewing, speech, and digestion.
Restore or enhance facial tissues.
Support a bridge or denture, making them more secure and comfortable.
What does getting dental implants involve?
The process of getting implants may require a number of visits over several months.
X-rays and impressions (molds) are taken of the jaw and teeth to determine quality of the jaw bone and spacing available for an implant. The implant will be surgically placed into the bone and allowed to heal and integrate itself with the bone. This process usually will take two to three months. A post or abutment is placed into the implant to allow fabrication of a crown restoration or to allow attachment of another type of prosthesis. Under the right circumstances, an abutment can be placed into the implant immediately when the implant is placed. This allows placement of a temporary prosthesis at the time of implant placement.
After the healing period is completed, the prosthesis is made and fitted to the abutment. Because several fittings may be required, this step may take one to two months to complete. After a healing period, the prosthesis is securely attached to the implant, providing excellent stability and comfort to the patient.
You will receive care instructions when your treatment is completed. Good oral hygiene, eating habits, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new implant.