Restorative dentistry may seem scary, but these treatments help patients achieve a natural-looking smile, no matter the circumstances. One form of restorative dentistry is a dental implant. Dental implants are a custom and permanent solution to missing teeth.
What Are Dental Implants?
So you might be asking what exactly is a dental implant? These are fixtures that are surgically attached to your jaw bone in cases of missing teeth. The fixture serves as a replacement for your tooth root and is used to support dental appliances that mimic natural teeth. The implant itself resembles a screw. It is used as the connection between your jawbone and a new dental appliance, including crowns, bridges, and dentures.
Dental implants are typically made from titanium because it is a light, but strong, material that isn’t rejected by the body. Your new dental implant will last permanently with the right oral care. You also won’t have to worry about shifting or discomfort with your new dental appliance.
Types of Dental Implants
There are so many types of dental implants that can be installed, allowing for customization and serving a wider range of patients. The type of implant you will need depends on how many teeth you are looking to replace and where they are located. There are three popular types of dental implants including:
- Full Upper or Lower Replacement: These implants are installed in cases where patients are missing almost all of their bottom or top teeth. Bridges or dentures will be installed on top of the implant in these cases.
- Anterior Replacement: Your anterior teeth include canines and incisor teeth that sit on arches within your mouth. This requires a different approach when installing implants.
- Single Tooth Replacement: Like the name states, these implants are installed to replace only a single tooth. A crown is typically used with single tooth replacements.
Dental implants offer so many benefits that go beyond cosmetic reasons. When you fill in missing gaps in your mouth, you promote better oral health all around. Dental implants:
- Improve your self-esteem.
- Won’t shift, make noise, or cause damage in your mouth, meaning more comfortable chewing and speaking.
- Reduce speech problems.
- Take the stress off of your facial skeleton and soft tissue.
- Promote better long-term dental health.
- Are a permanent solution, compared to veneers.
- Improve your ability to eat.
The dental implants procedure is a lot less scary than you might imagine. It’s a long process, due to the time it takes for your mouth to heal in between steps. Though an extended timeline, dental implants are a long term solution to missing teeth.
Remove Damaged Teeth
If you have damaged teeth, you’ll need to have the teeth extracted before the dental implants procedure can begin. Implants act as the tooth root, so the entire damaged or decayed tooth will need to be removed to make room for the new implant.
After the tooth or teeth are extracted, your jawbone will need to be prepared to support the new dental implant. One of our doctors will make an incision and drill down to your jawbone using a quiet, but effective, drill.
The implant will then be attached to the jawbone like a screw. After this is done, the incision will be closed. You will then have to wait until the jawbone fuses with the new implant.
After a few months, the incision will have healed and one of our doctors will install the abutment to the implant. This requires opening up the spot where the implant or implants were installed and adding the abutment to it. Abutments act as the connection to the implant and the new dental appliance. Gum tissue will then have to grow around this abutment.
Appliance Attached to Abutment
Once the abutment is attached and secured, one of our doctors will install a dental crown, bridge or dentures. The dental implant will have healed and gives your new appliance a sturdy foundation to affix to. You’ll have a natural looking smile and a fully functional mouth.
Am I a Good Candidate?
Dental implants aren’t for everyone, but a good majority of patients can choose dental implants for their restorative dental treatment. Some factors that dentists consider include:
- The health of your gums.
- The condition of the bone that will support the implant.
- Commitment to a longer timeline.
Scheduling a consultation is the best way to determine if dental implants are right for you. One of our doctors will examine your mouth to see if you’re a good candidate for this procedure. Keep in mind that installing dental implants is a process that requires patience and willingness to wait for end results. Patients typically spend several months waiting for healing in between treatments.
Dental Implants with Park Avenue Dental
Dental implants may seem like a big commitment, but they are a great long term investment for your mouth. Schedule an appointment with Park Avenue Dental today to chat with one of our doctors to see if dental implants are right for you. We’d love to explore your options to help you to have a natural looking smile that lasts for years to come!