Dental implants are changing the way people live. They are designed to provide a foundation for replacing missing teeth that look, feel, and function like natural teeth. With dental implants the person who has lost one or more teeth will be regain the ability to chew and enjoy all kinds of food again, knowing that their implant retained tooth replacement looks like the real thing. Also dental implant help preserve the contour and projection of the lips helping the patient look younger. Patients with dental implants can smile with confidence.
What Are Dental Implants?
The implants themselves are sophisticated titanium screws that are surgically placed into the jawbone where teeth are missing. These metal anchors act the same way as the natural tooth’s root. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. A small posts is then attached to the implant. These posts provide stable anchors for the artificial tooth replacement (crown).
The Surgical Procedure
For most patients, the placement of dental implants involves two separate surgical procedures. First, implants are placed within your jawbone. For the first three to six months following surgery, the implants are beneath the surface of the gums gradually bonding with the jawbone. You should be able to wear temporary dentures that will preserve your smile as the implant heals. After the implant integrates to your bone a second surgery will uncover the implant, getting it ready for the final crown.
Using the most recent advances in dental implant technology, the surgeons at The Woodlands Oral & Facial Surgery Center can place single stage implants. These implants do not require a second procedure to uncover them, but do require a minimum of six weeks of healing time before artificial teeth are placed. There are even situations where the implants can be placed at the same time right after the tooth extraction further minimizing the number of surgical procedures and time before you get your final tooth replacement.
Types Of Prosthesis
A single tooth prosthesis (crown) is used to replace one missing tooth and each prosthetic tooth attaches to its own implant. A fixed bridge, that is retained and supported by implants, can replace two or more missing teeth.
Patients with no dentition can have a more stable full denture by placing anywhere from 2-4 implants. These implants will stabilize the denture, making eating and even talking more natural. A complete dental prosthesis (fixed bridge) replaces all the teeth in your upper or lower jaw. The number of implants varies depending upon which type of complete prosthesis (removable or fixed) is recommended. A removable prosthesis (over denture) attaches to a bar or ball in socket attachments, whereas a fixed prosthesis is permanent and removable only by the dentist.
Why Dental Implants?
Once you have learned about dental implants, you will finally realize that there is a way to improve your quality of life. When you lose several teeth the chewing efficiency decreases dramatically. Also digestion is compromised when you chew your food less effectively. Dental implants restore your chewing function and facial aesthetics. You will not only feel better, but will also look to the best of your potential.
Why Select Dental Implants Over More Traditional Types Of Restorations?
There are several reasons: Why sacrifice the structure of surrounding good teeth to bridge a space? In addition, removing a denture or a partial at night may be inconvenient, not to mention that dentures that slip can be uncomfortable and rather embarrassing.
Are You A Candidate For Implants?
If you are considering implants, your mouth must be examined thoroughly and your medical and dental history reviewed. If your mouth is not ideal for implants, ways of improving outcome, such as bone grafting, may be recommended.
What Type Of Anesthesia Is Used?
The majority of dental implants and bone graft can be performed in the office under local anesthesia, with or without general anesthesia.
Do Implants Need Special Care?
Once the implants are in place, they will serve you well for many years if you take care of them and keep your mouth healthy. This means taking the time for good oral hygiene (brushing and flossing) and keeping regular appointments with your dental specialists.