Dental implants are a great way to replace missing teeth or stabilize a denture.
If you have missing teeth or fixed bridge work that you're unhappy with, you may be a candidate for Dental Implants. Dental Implants are the most natural replacement for missing teeth and help to prevent face disfiguring bone loss.
Replacing a Missing Tooth
A natural tooth is anchored into the jawbone by its tooth root. Tooth roots attach firmly to the jawbone and keep your teeth stable when chewing solid foods.
Traditionally, if you were missing a tooth or if one needed to be extracted, the healthy teeth on either side of the missing tooth would be cut down and the whole thing replaced with a three-crown "bridge."
Dental implants are the modern alternative. Instead of cutting down two perfectly healthy teeth, a dental specialist inserts a dental post (dental implant) into the jawbone to replace your missing tooth root. This post becomes solidly fixed into your jaw (like a natural tooth root). We then place a crown onto this artificial tooth root that looks, feels, and functions like your natural teeth.
Quite simply, dental implants are the most natural replacement for missing teeth.
General Implant Placement Procedure
While there is some variation in procedure, the following outlines the basic steps required for dental implant placement:
The first portion of the procedure is done at your specialist's office. The gum covering the area is gently folded back and the underlying bone prepared to receive the implant. The extent of the bone preparation is dependent on the number of implants required.
The implant(s) are then installed, and the gum sutured. The implant should fully integrate into the bone after 3 to 6 months.
At this point, a custom-designed crown is fitted over the post. The details of the procedure change slightly with the structure of the implant used.
Replacing Several Missing Teeth
Dental implants can be used to anchor partial and full dentures. This prevents the slipping, irritation, and pain associated with "floating" partials and dentures. It also prevents the tedious removal of dentures for overnight soaking and cleaning. Dental implants also eliminate the need for dental adhesives. This allows you to enjoy eating the foods you previously avoided. With dental implants, your partials or dentures are firmly anchored to the jawbone, causing them to feel much more like natural teeth.
Stabilizing Lower Denture
The first recorded use of dental implants was by the ancient Mayans in 600 AD. Since then, dental implants and the technology surrounding this treatment has significantly evolved. Today, dental implant therapy is considered the premiere treatment option for people with missing teeth.
Dental implants are small titanium anchors that are permanently placed into your upper and/or lower jaw bone. Throughout time, the implant integrates with your bone and acts very much like your natural tooth root in your jaw bone. This integration not only creates a stable foundation to attach single and multiple teeth or dentures to, it also slows bone loss because it is acting like a tooth root in your bone.
Implant therapy is prescribed for people that have one, multiple or all of their teeth missing. People with multiple or all of their teeth missing typically have complete or partial dentures; this treatment option is called Overdentures. Overdentures are replacement teeth retained by dental implants. Overdentures were developed to help both partial and fully edentulous patients regain a quality of life, which most likely has been missing since they lost their teeth.