We are living longer and healthier lives but unfortunately, we have only one set of adult teeth. Often our natural teeth just can’t keep up. Due to cavities or gum disease and even severe wear, we may find that our teeth will not last or provide the comfort and chewing ability we need. Previous options such as partials or dentures provided a very poor substitute. Dental implants now allow us to restore the beauty, health, and chewing ability of healthy natural teeth. In fact, they can improve your general health and even add years to your life.
What are dental implants
Dental implants are titanium screws that are surgically placed in your jawbone to support a new tooth. They can also be used as anchors to support a denture or even a full set of new teeth. After the surgery to place the implant, the implant generally needs to heal for 3-4 months before the replacement tooth is placed. However, there are several circumstances in which temporary teeth can be attached immediately. This is called immediate restoration or “Teeth in a Day™)
The ideal candidate for implants is a non-smoker who has good oral health, including a sufficient amount of bone in the jaw, and healthy gums with no sign of gum disease.
Single or Multiple Implants
Implants are versatile. If you are missing only one tooth, one implant plus one replacement tooth will do the trick. If you are missing several teeth in a row, a few strategically placed implants can support a permanent bridge (a set of replacement teeth).
If you have lost all your teeth, a full bridge or full denture can be permanently fixed in your mouth with a strategic number of implants.
Implants to support a removable denture
Once all the teeth in one jaw are removed, the bone will continually shrink and weaken as the years go by. Dentures simply sit on the gums with very little to support them or keep them in place. The denture actually accelerates the loss of jaw bone. Using dental implants as anchors to support the denture results in a significantly more stable and comfortable denture. The biting force is now supported and strengthened by the implant anchors. The implants will also help stop the normal bone loss associated with dentures.
Permanent Implant teeth, All – On – Four ™ or Teeth in a Day™
This is the only replacement for natural teeth that has the ability to completely restore the ability to chew and speak naturally. In fact, most patients are able to restore the appearance, comfort, and health of their natural teeth with a solution that requires minimal upkeep and has no risk of cavities or toothaches! These implants also strengthen and stimulate the jaw bone to help keep you healthy and active for a lifetime. The closest you can get to a perfectly natural smile!
This procedure involves placing 4-6 implants in the jaw bone to support a solid and cosmetic complete set of teeth. You are never without teeth during the entire process which takes 4-6 months. The process involves 3D imaging and computer designed surgical guides, temporary teeth and customized final teeth to give you the ideal smile and result.
Our implant services include:
- Sinus Lift Augmentation: Often, the sinuses will enlarge following loss of the upper back teeth. This can preclude placement of dental implants in the upper back areas of the mouth since the sinus is an air-filled space and dental implants need to be anchored in solid bone. A sinus lift augmentation/graft is a surgical procedure that restores the sinus cavity to its original size, and replaces the bone lost as a result of the enlarged sinus. This new bone graft typically takes nine to 12 months to heal before the dental implants can be placed into the grafted bone.
- Autogenous Bone Grafting: Occasionally, the ideal areas for dental implants do not have sufficient bone quantity to support the implants. In these cases, it is often necessary to “borrow” bone from another area of your mouth and graft it into the deficient area. Often, the area of choice is the chin or the back of the jaw where your wisdom teeth used to be.
- Implant Site Development: When a tooth needs to be removed due to infection, it is not uncommon to have lost bone around the infected tooth. In these cases, various types of bone grafting can be done at the same time the tooth is removed to facilitate the placement of a dental implant at a later date.
- Computer-Enhanced Treatment Planning: We have special software on our computer that allows us to evaluate your dental CT scan in three dimensions for bone quality, bone quantity, and bone location. This enables the best possible placement of your dental implants. It also allows us to work closely and smoothly with your restorative dentist to ensure an ideal result where your dental implants are concerned.
- Implant Maintenance: Once your dental implant restoration is completed, it is important to keep the area clean and infection-free. Dental implants can accumulate plaque and tartar, just as teeth can. Whether you have just one tooth replaced by an implant or several, a professional cleaning schedule will be necessary to keep your implants healthy. The time interval for these professional cleanings will be determined by your individual needs.