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Dental Implants

A dental implant is an artificial tooth root used in dentistry to support restorations that resemble a tooth or group of teeth. A typical implant consists of a titanium screw with a roughened or smooth surface. Dental implants are an ideal option for people in good general oral health who have lost a tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease, an injury, or some other reason.

Dental-ImplantsWhile high-tech in nature, dental implants are actually more tooth-saving than traditional bridgework, since implants do not rely on neighboring teeth for support. Dental implants are so natural-looking and feeling, you may forget you ever lost a tooth.You know that your confidence about your teeth affects how you feel about yourself, both personally and professionally. Perhaps you hide your smile because of spaces from missing teeth. Maybe your dentures don’t feel secure. Perhaps you have difficulty chewing. If you are missing one or more teeth and would like to smile, speak and eat again with comfort and confidence, there is good news! Dental implants are teeth that can look and feel just like your own! Under proper conditions, such as placement by a periodontist and diligent patient maintenance, implants can last a lifetime. Long-term studies continue to show improving success rates for implants.

What can dental implants do

  • Replace one or more teeth without affecting bordering teeth.
  • Support a bridge and eliminate the need for a removable partial denture.
  • Provide support for a denture, making it more secure and comfortable.
  • Used for anchorage during orthodontic treatment

Advantages of dental implants over dentures or a Bridge

Esthetic Dental implants look and feel like your own teeth! Since dental implants integrate into the structure of your bone, they prevent the bone loss and gum recession that often accompany bridgework and dentures. No one will ever know that you have a replacement tooth.

Tooth-saving Dental implants don’t sacrifice the quality of your adjacent teeth like a bridge does because neighboring teeth are not altered to support the implant. More of your own teeth are left untouched, a significant long-term benefit to your oral health! Confidence Dental implants will allow you to once again speak and eat with comfort and confidence! They are secure and offer freedom from the irksome clicks and wobbles of dentures. They’ll allow you to say goodbye to worries about misplaced dentures and messy pastes and glues.

Reliable The success rate of dental implants is highly predictable. They are considered an excellent option for tooth replacement.

Who is a candidate for dental implants?

The ideal candidate for a dental implant is in good general and oral health. Adequate bone in your jaw is needed to support the implant, and the best candidates have healthy gum tissues that are free of periodontal disease.

The ideal candidate for a dental implant is in good general and oral health. Adequate bone in your jaw is needed to support the implant, and the best candidates have healthy gum tissues that are free of periodontal disease.

Dental implants are intimately connected with the gum tissues and underlying bone in the mouth. Since periodontists are the dental experts who specialize in precisely these areas, they are ideal members of your dental implant team. Not only do periodontists have experience working with other dental professionals, they also have the special knowledge, training and facilities that you need to have teeth that look and feel just like your own. Your dentist and periodontist will work together to make your dreams come true.

Surgical planning

Prior to commencement of surgery, careful and detailed planning is required to identify vital structures in proximity to the implant site, such as the inferior alveolar nerve or the sinus, as well as the shape and dimensions of the bone to properly orient the implants for the most predictable outcome. Two-dimensional radiographs, such as orthopantomographs or periapicals are often taken prior to the surgery. In most instances, a 3D scan may also be utilized to plan for the surgery. These radiographs help us determine the correct size of implant to use and the ideal position to place the implant in your jaw.

A ‘stent’ may sometimes be required to facilitate the placement of implants. A surgical stent is an acrylic mouthpiece that fits in your mouth with pre-drilled holes to show the position and angle of the implants to be placed.

Basic Procedure

The placement of a dental implant requires a preparation into the bone using precision drills with highly regulated speed and torque to prevent overheating or putting too much pressure on the bone. After a variable amount of time to allow the bone to grow on to the surface of the implant (osseointegration) a tooth or teeth can be placed on the implant. The amount of time required to place an implant will vary depending on the experience of the practitioner, the quality and quantity of the bone and the difficulty of the individual situation.

Healing Time

In general implants are allowed to heal for 2?6 months before they are used to support crowns, bridges, or dentures. Some studies have shown that early loading of implant may not increase early or long term complications. However, if the implant is loaded too soon, it is possible that the implant may move which results in failure. Therefore it is important for patient to follow post operative instructions closely to maximize implant success.

One Stage vs. two stage surgery

When an implant is placed, it can either be burried under the gum during the healing period. This is a two-stage surgery because after the healing period a second surgery is needed to expose the burried implant.

Implants can also be placed in a one-stage surgery where it is left exposed through the gum. In this case, a second stage surgery in not needed.

Two-stage surgery is sometimes chosen when a bone graft is placed at the same time as implant placement. This way, the bone graft is left undistrubed under the gum during healing.

In carefully selected cases, patients can be implanted and restored in a single surgery, in a procedure labeled “Immediate Loading”. In such cases a provisional prosthetic tooth or crown is shaped to avoid the force of the bite transferring to the implant while it integrates with the bone.

Immediate placement

In an attempt to preserve bone and to reduce treatment times, it has become more common to place a dental implant immediately after removing a tooth. This can cut months off the treatment time. Most data suggests that when placed into single rooted tooth sites with healthy bone and gum around them, the success rates are comparable to that of delayed procedures with no additional complications. However, each case must be carefully evaluated to see if immediate placement is suitable.

Bone grafting for implants

Bone grafting is done when the bone is too narrow or too short to place an adequate sized implant. Bone grafting helps to increase the width and/or height of bone so that an implant can be fully anchored within the bone.

Sinus lift

Our sinuses are located in close proximity to the upper posterior jaw bone. In some cases, the sinus floor “dips” down, causing that area to lose bone height. If the bone height is not adequate for an implant, then a “sinus lift” procedure is necessary in order to increase bone height.

Success rate

Dental implant success is related to operator skill, quality and quantity of the bone available at the site, and the patient’s oral hygiene. Other factors such as uncontrolled diabetes, smoking, and periodontal disease can also affect implant success. Overall, dental implants carry a success rate of around 95%.

What can i expect after treatment?

As you know, your own teeth require conscientious at-home oral care and regular dental visits. Dental implants are like your own teeth and will require the same care. In order to keep your implant clean and plaque-free, brushing and flossing still apply! After treatment, your periodontist will work closely with you and your dentist to develop the best care plan for you. Periodic follow-up visits will be scheduled to monitor your implant, teeth and gums to make sure they are healthy.

Can an implant be rejected?

Yes. Implants can be rejected, but not in the way we know “rejection” can occur in organ transplants. Dental implants are bio-compatible. To date, there has been no substantiated reports of any allergic reactions to commercially-pure, titanium implants, which are the most prevalent kind used today. However, failures can occur. For instance, bacteria can contaminate the implant or the surgery site. When this happens, an infection might cause the implant to be lost. Naturally, great efforts are taken to ensure sterile conditions during implant procedures, from the way the implants are packaged to the hygienic conditions in the operating room.

What happens if my implant fails?

When an implant fails, can another be placed in the same spot? Usually, yes. We sometimes don?t understand why an implant fails. When it does, the implant is removed. Depending on the conditions, the site is either prepared for another dental implant immediately, or it is deferred after a prescribed healing period. The second attemp can still have a high chance of success.