Prior to the development of the dental implant procedure, fixed bridges and removable dentures were the only alternative to replacing a missing tooth or teeth.
Implants are synthetic structures (titanium) that are placed in the area of the tooth normally occupied by the root. The dental implant is anchored to the jawbone or metal framework on the bone. This acts as a foundation for an artificial tooth or permanent bridge. Implants can also be used to attach to full arch dentures to make them more comfortable and stable to wear.
The design of implants is so unique that they mimic the look and feel of natural teeth. What makes an implant so strong is that the bone actually grows around it and holds it in place! Majority of patients find that the implants have a more natural feel and secure fit.
In order to prepare the area and place the implant in the mouth surgery is necessary. After the procedure, a period of time is necessary for the implant to be securely held, for bone tissue to build up, and anchor the device. This is what makes the implant so strong and holds firmly in place. Then the dental implant is ready to have the abutment placed onto it to support the ceramic crown.
Since implants require surgery, patients are administered anesthesia. Antibiotics are also provided to stave off infection prior to the procedure.
Like any restoration, implants require thorough oral hygiene and appropriate care to ensure that they last a long time. A good amount of time must be spent to care for the implant and making sure the area around it is very clean. This is all extremely important for the success of your implant, since the dental implant helps to preserve the bone after the loss or extraction of the teeth.
The Ideal Candidate
Not everyone is necessarily a good candidate for a dental implant. A candidate must have the proper bone density and good general health in order for a successful implant to take hold. This is why Dr. Evans will conduct a thorough, clinical examination and chair-side diagnostics. A 3-D Cone Beam CT scan will be taken for assisting in the fabrication of the surgical guide for the implant placement. Dental impressions and bite registrations are also taken at this time to help outline a treatment plan that is most likely to be successful for you and the placement of your implant(s).
Single Tooth Implant
The root of a missing tooth is replaced by a single tooth implant. This implant style is a stand-alone unit and does not involve treating the teeth next to it. A missing tooth can affect your bone health, causing bone tissue to diminish. Upon removal of a tooth, the biting power on the remaining teeth starts to change. By not replacing the missing tooth, the surrounding or opposite teeth can shift. It can also effect how you chew and, in some cases, how you speak (depending on location).
Multiple Dental Implants
Dental implants may be used to support a bridge when several teeth are missing. The bridge is anchored to the dental implants and replaces the lost natural teeth. An implant-supported bridge does not require support from surrounding teeth. When teeth are missing the bone begins to deteriorate where natural teeth were. Bone loss can become significant, causing a change in the jaw line and facial appearance as well. Replacing multiple teeth with dental implants can give you new, unparalleled strength and stability that allows you to eat what you want and will preserve your jawbone and facial appearance.
Full Arch Implant Supported Dentures (Permanent Dentures)
If you are missing all your teeth, a full dental implant supported denture can replace the missing teeth as well as some of the tooth roots. Complete tooth loss causes the jaw to shrink and bone deterioration that if severe can cause the facial structure to collapse. A major complaint given by patients that have an existing removable denture is that it rocks or moves while eating, or that their smile is not the same. A full dental implant integrates with the jawbone and the permanent denture is screwed into the implants. For this reason, the implant-supported denture tends to be more comfortable and stable, allowing you to bite and chew naturally.
High-Tech Dental Imaging to Enhance Guiding of Implants
As part of your diagnostics and planning for you dental implant procedure, we'll use the latest in 3-D Cone Beam CT scan imaging.
The 3-D scan allows us to see cross-sectional and three-dimensional views of your jaw and existing teeth. With this type of imaging we can determine the width, length, and the thickness of your jawbone in the areas dental implants are needed. The detailed information provided could determine, with precision, the dental implant placement, size, and type of implant, as well as any areas that may require additional bone support. The additional support, such as bone grafting, ensures the best results for the placement of your dental implant. By treatment planning with this type of modern technology enables safe and predictable guided surgery with minimal visits to the dentist and less invasive.