Dental implants are a great way to replace missing teeth and also provide a fixed solution to having removable partial or complete dentures. Implants provide excellent support and stability for these dental appliances.
Dental implants are artificial roots and teeth (usually titanium) that are surgically placed into the upper or lower jaw bone. 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 have a very high sucess rate. They are the technologically closest tooth subsitute as compared to nature.
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.
Help to keep the jawbone from shrinking.
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.
Types of dental implants:
It is important to realize that there are many different types of dental implants. Currently, the most popular are the endosseus (root form) implants. When we hear or read about dental implants, it is usually of this type. This is further devided into 2 catagories: the standard types, and mini implants. Mini implants are generally 3mm or less in diameter, and are usually 1 piece. It is important to know that there can be significant differences between them. Mini implants are generally less flexible restorativly, and can have a lower sucess rate. However, used properly, they can have good benefits at lower cost.
What does getting dental implants involve?
There are 2 phases in getting an implant-supported restoration. Phase 1 involves the surgical placement of the implant. After healing, phase 2 involves the fabrication of the tooth (crown).
Although there are may techniques in placing dental implants, we use the latest minimal-invasive surgical techniques. This not only reduces the healing time, but significantly lessens the pain and discomfort as well. It is not uncommon for patients not to need pain medication.
The usual minimum healing period is 4 months for the lower jaw, and 6 months for the upper jaw. Until then, temporary teeth are placed. Of course, you are not expected to go without teeth while the implants heal!
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.