Dental implants offer an effective long-term solution for missing teeth. Unlike dentures which often move and lead to speech impediments, implants remain secure in place so you can eat and speak normally.
Your dentist will conduct an oral examination to determine whether you qualify for dental implants. People living with chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease, long-term steroid use or previous radiation therapy to the jaw may experience slower healing and integration of implants than others.
What is a Dental Implant?
Dental implants offer a long-term solution to missing teeth. Consisting of a titanium screw placed directly into the jaw bone to replace tooth root, they are then covered by a crown that blends seamlessly with surrounding natural tooth color and shape – offering both fixed solutions for missing teeth as well as supporting dentures with ease. Their success rate is high, with most patients reporting being very pleased with their implant restorations.
Dental implant procedures typically take place at a dentist’s office and involve being given an anesthetic for maximum comfort during the procedure. Once placed, dental implants need time to integrate with bone cells through osseointegration – this process gives dental implants their strength and stability making them an ideal option when replacing missing teeth.
As part of your healing period, you may experience some discomfort and swelling to your gums and face. These symptoms can be managed with prescribed pain medications from your dentist; alternatively, soft foods may help the implant site recover more quickly than hard ones. Smoking should also be avoided since smoking could harm its integrity.
There are two primary forms of dental implants: single-stage and two-stage. With single-stage implants, surgery is used to implant them and allow the bone to regrowth; then the implant can be closed (stitched) before its abutment and temporary restoration are attached. Two-stage implants require more time for healing but may be useful where single-stage procedures cannot generate sufficient bone regeneration.
Mini-implants and sinus augmentation are other viable dental implant options. Sinus augmentation is a treatment designed to prepare the upper jaw for dental implants when bone volume or quality are insufficient; typically in cases at the back of the mouth. Underlying sinus floors are elevated using either natural or synthetic bone graft material and then filled in using special types of bone graft cement.
Dental implant bridges may also be an excellent way to replace multiple teeth, as it doesn’t rest directly on the gums and therefore less likely to cause sores or other discomfort.
Dental Implant Placement for Missing Teeth
Dental implants offer more natural-looking and feeling solutions than dentures or bridges when replacing missing teeth, but like all dental treatments their success relies on proper maintenance and oral health. Achieve this success will require working closely with your dentist who may suggest other specialists such as an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, periodontist, or prothodontist for best results.
Before getting an implant, a comprehensive dental exam including X-rays and 3D images of your jaw is necessary. Your dentist will examine surrounding teeth and jaw bone health to ensure there’s enough healthy, strong bone to hold an implant – otherwise bone grafting might be required.
At the core of it all lies dental implant surgery: your oral surgeon makes an incision in your gum tissue to expose bone. They drill holes into it, insert a metal post which acts as the root for your new tooth, and place a healing cap over it; gum tissue will cover and grow around it over time.
After several months have passed since undergoing the initial procedure to attach the crown to an implant, another surgery will likely be necessary in order to attach an abutment that connects it with its crown. This minor operation must occur once healing of the initial procedure has taken place and the abutment has healed successfully.
Once your abutment is in place, you should expect minimal pain or discomfort; if any arises, speak to your dentist about analgesics or over-the-counter pain relievers to ease it. In the interim, stick to soft foods in your diet in order to protect the site of the abutment.
Dental implants can last a lifetime with proper care and maintenance, but it’s vitally important that patients follow instructions from their dental professional regarding care and maintenance. This means adhering to proper oral hygiene, abstaining from smoking or other harmful habits, and visiting their hygienist regularly for cleanings and exams. Failure to do so could result in complications that undermine its integrity as well as that of surrounding teeth and jawbones.
Dental Implant Restoration
When replacing missing teeth, you want your replacements to look and feel just like real ones – no slipping around, shifting, or falling out! Modern dentistry offers dental implants to provide this seamless transition – implants can be surgically placed into the jawbone where they fuse with the surrounding bone tissue through osseointegration for maximum stability and durability.
At surgery, a local anesthetic will be administered to numb the area before drilling a small hole into your jawbone to place an implant. Once healed, a tiny connector post called an abutment will be secured to it before your restoration – such as crowns, bridges or full dentures – are attached.
Dental implants are made from titanium, a biocompatible and durable metal with proven success in human bodies. Patients generally report no issues with their restorations. As with natural teeth, however, it’s essential that implants be cared for appropriately to ensure long-term health benefits.
To maintain good condition with your implants, brush and floss regularly as well as visit your dentist regularly for checkups. Furthermore, be sure to notify an oral surgeon of any changes in your bite or any pain or discomfort you might be experiencing.
Some medical conditions can impede implant healing, so it’s essential that your oral surgeon be informed if you are taking medications, have uncontrolled chronic disorders such as diabetes or heart disease, had radiation therapy to your head/neck region in the past or are an avid smoker. You should also inform him/her if any habits that could impede their success such as nail biting or grinding are present.
Most individuals with healthy gums and sufficient bone can benefit from dental implants; the ideal candidates have strong bones, good general health and are committed to good oral hygiene practices. Smoking, certain health conditions such as diabetes or heart disease and long-term use of steroids may delay healing or increase risks related to complications with implants.
Dental Implant Maintenance
Implants are the cutting-edge method of replacing missing teeth, offering long-term success than any other procedure. Like all dental implants, however, implants require periodic care and maintenance; in particular, maintaining hard and soft tissues around it; regular visits to a dental professional are vital as this will determine its long-term success; regularly probing gums around an implant should mimic how one would measure and probe for cavities between natural teeth, inspect for infection annually by comparing x-rays taken of it, cleaning its surface/peri-implant structures/removing plaque/calcium as well as setting maintenance intervals.
At an implant maintenance visit, it is essential that patients update both their medical and dental histories, while also having their hard and soft peri-implant tissues assessed to assess their state. This evaluation includes but is not limited to:
Restoring dental implants correctly with crowns or bridges can have a dramatic impact on how well they heal and function, so selecting an experienced and knowledgeable practitioner is of utmost importance.
If you have questions or are experiencing difficulties with your dental implants, reach out to Jenkins Dental right away and arrange for a consultation appointment with one of our highly skilled doctors.
Most implant procedures require multiple visits. While your surgeon may be able to place and restore (like a crown or bridge ) in one visit, up to six months should pass for healing and osseointegration to take place before an effective restoration can be applied – during this time a temporary restoration should be worn as necessary.
Your doctor may suggest using a stent to assist the soft tissue as the implant heals. Once sufficiently healed, this stent should be removed so an examination of both implant and surrounding tissues can take place.
Most implant systems are composed of titanium, but their surfaces can vary in texture and structure to allow for increased bone contact compared to machined or sandblasted titanium surfaces. Furthermore, some systems come coated with zirconium or other nonmetals – these materials have long histories of safety that have been thoroughly reviewed to meet patient needs.