A dental implant is a prosthetic device that is specially fabricated to replace missing teeth. An implant is a titanium screw that is placed into the socket where your tooth once was.
After an average of 3 months of healing, an abutment crown is then fabricated by our very own in-house dental lab, and attached to the implant to create the appearance of a natural tooth. Dental implants promote great aesthetics and functionality, are durable, and do not decay like normal teeth. Furthermore, you won't have to worry about taking them out of your mouth at the end of the day like you would with a removable denture. It is the most reliable method of tooth replacement. Get your implant consultation today at Dream Smile Dental.
Dental Implants for Missing Teeth Replacement; Everything you Need to Know
If you are fed up with wearing your old and uncomfortable dentures and looking for a long-term, esthetically pleasing and safe tooth replacement option, dental implants should be your first choice.
What is a Dental Implant?
According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, an implant is a small, screw-shaped post made of titanium inserted into the jawbone. An implant serves as the replacement root for missing teeth. Once the implant anchors itself within the jawbone, it provides a solid foundation for attaching artificial teeth over it to replace the missing teeth.
Who Can Benefit from Dental Implants?
Any individual who has lost one or more teeth, and has good oral and physical health, is a candidate for dental implants, regardless of age. The best thing about dental implants is that whether you have lost a single, multiple, or all missing teeth in your jaw, we will restore it with a suitable implant-supported prosthesis.
What are the Components of a Dental Implant?
Dental implants have three components: the implant post, the abutment, and the prosthesis.
Implant Post - this is the screw-shaped fixture inserted into the bone. It functions as the root component of an artificial tooth.
The Abutment - this is a small connector that sits between the implant post and the prosthesis. One side of the abutment is designed to be screwed into the implant post while the other end connects with the prosthesis. So, the function of an abutment is to connect the implant post with the prosthesis.
The Implant Prosthesis - this is the prosthesis that is attached to the implant for replacing the missing teeth. The type of prosthesis used depends on the number of missing teeth. For example, a single missing tooth is replaced with a porcelain crown. For multiple missing teeth, we may use an implant-supported denture or a bridge. Finally, when all the teeth are missing, we will use up to six implants to support a complete fixed bridge. Such prosthesis is commonly known as an all-on-4 implant-supported fixed bridge.
What is the Procedure for Getting Dental Implants?
Tooth replacement with dental implants requires careful treatment planning and excellent clinical skills. That is why the procedure is usually carried out in multiple steps:
Clinical Examination - during your first appointment, we will perform a detailed examination of your oral cavity. We will also look at the x-ray images and study models of your teeth to determine the number of implants and type of prosthesis needed for replacing your missing teeth.
Additional Dental Procedures - sometimes, additional dental procedures are needed before implant therapy can be initiated. For example, since dental implants are embedded directly into the jawbone, sufficient high-density jawbone must be available to support the implant. For those patients who do not have adequate jawbone volume or density available - either due to bone disease or prolonged tooth loss - optimal bone quality is restored with a bone graft procedure.
Similarly, if there are broken teeth or roots present in the oral cavity that cannot be restored, a dental tooth extraction will be performed to remove them and replace them with an implant-supported prosthesis.
In other cases, professional teeth cleaning is necessary to remove plaque and tartar deposits - and treat underlying gum disease - before we begin the implant procedure.
The Implant Procedure - once all the pre-implant treatment procedures have been carried out, we will place the dental implants. Before starting the procedure, we will administer local anesthesia to make you pain-free.
First, we will make an incision over the soft tissues that cover the bone where implant insertion has been planned. Next, we will drill a site in the bone and carefully screw the implants at pre-determined locations. Once the implants have been inserted, we will place healing collars over them, which ensure uninterrupted healing of the surgical site. We may also sometimes place temporary prostheses over the implants, so your facial esthetics are unaffected. However, these temporary teeth cannot be used for eating. Oftentimes, we will fabricate a temporary denture to replace the missing teeth while the implants are healing.
The implant surgical site usually takes, on average, three months to heal properly. During this phase, the implants form an intimate contact with the surrounding bone tissue and become firmly anchored. This process is known as osseointegration, which is essential for the long-term survival of implant prostheses.
After about three months, when complete healing has taken place, we will remove the temporary implant prostheses and replace them with pre-fabricated, permanent prostheses. This process is known as implant loading. Congratulations! Now you are a proud owner of a beautiful smile with dental implants. You can also use your implant-supported artificial teeth to eat all your favorite foods.
What are the Benefits of Dental Implants?
Dental implants offer numerous benefits over traditional tooth replacement options like dentures and bridges, such as:
Durability - titanium implants are extremely strong and durable. With proper care, they can even last a lifetime.
Esthetics - implant-supported prostheses offer the most natural-looking esthetics among all the tooth replacement options.
Safety - titanium implants are safe for use in the human body and do not cause any long-term reaction.
Convenience - dental implants allow you to eat all your favorite foods without restrictions.
Bone Conservation - unlike dentures that put pressure on the jawbone and cause unwanted bone loss, dental implants preserve the surrounding bone tissue and ensure optimal overall bone health.
Dental implants are the next best thing to natural teeth. If you are looking for a long-term solution for your missing teeth, dental implants at Dream Smile Dental are your best choice. So, visit us today and let us give you the smile of your dreams with an esthetically pleasing and durable implant-supported prosthesis.