What are dental implants?
Dental implants have become the gold standard for replacing missing teeth. Implants can even look and feel like your natural teeth.
Dental implants are replacement teeth that are fixed to your jawbone with a titanium or zirconium post. This post is inserted into the jaw in the same location as the root of the tooth that was extracted. The implant is made up of 3 parts: the post, the abutment and the crown. The abutment is the portion of the implant that screws into the post. The top of the abutment is shaped so the final crown has a sturdy surface to adhere to.
Once an implant is placed there is a period of 5 to 7 months healing required before the crown can be mounted. If there is not enough jaw structure left after a tooth extraction your dentist may recommend bone grafting to give you enough bone to allow the implant to integrate completely. This will add several months of healing to the process but is critical to ensure adequate bone structure.
Dental implants can also be used to secure a full denture. This is often done by placing 2 to 6 implants in the jawbone and inserting clips in an existing denture that “snap” onto the implants. This provides a secure foundation for your denture and can eliminate the shifting and wandering of traditional dentures. For those who have an upper denture you will be able to have the “plate” removed. No longer having the roof of your mouth covered allows many people to experience the textures and tastes that are blocked by a traditional full denture.
Dental implants can eliminate the need for a partial denture and in doing so preserve the surrounding teeth. Many partial dentures use the teeth in front and behind a missing tooth to secure the denture. This is done by removing part of these good teeth so the partial denture can be secured to them. This can compromise these otherwise healthy teeth. We now recommend using dental implants rather than considering a partial denture.
However, not everyone is a candidate for dental implants. Only your dentist will be able to tell for sure if you have the proper bone structure to be able to support the implant. Give us a call today to schedule an implant consultation.