What Are Dental Implants?
Implant dentistry offers patients a way to replace missing teeth and to restore function to the mouth. For an informative article on what getting a dental implant involves, see this article on implants at Mouth Healthy, a website maintained by the American Dental Association (ADA).
Getting a Dental Implant
- Our dentist specializes in both the surgical and restorative phase of implant dentistry. We use 3D imaging and intraoral scanner to obtain a 3D model of your mouth to accurately place the titanium implants into the patient’s jaw without affecting the surrounding anatomical structures. If a case gets more complicated, our dentist will work with specialists such as oral surgeons and periodontists. After healing, usually around 4 months, a patient comes to our office so that our dentist can start the process of restoring the implant.
- First, we take the custom abutment, made by a dental lab, and attach it to the implant fixture. Second, our dentist designs a crown and send the case out to the lab for fabrication. Finally, our dentist cements the crown on the custom abutment.
Restorations With Dental Implants
Often times, patients need only one or two dental implants to restore their smile and the chewing function of their teeth. The restoration of these implants with either a metal or ceramic crown is straight forward. At other times, though, implants are part of a dental appliance. Several examples include:
- Implant Bridges – You need to have good support structures on both sides of a bridge. If too many teeth are missing, an implant can create the strong support necessary for attaching a bridge.
- Implant Dentures – Some people opt for implants to help hold dentures in more securely. Sometimes, our specialists place 2-4 implants in the jaw and dentures are made to fit onto these implants. These types of dentures are removable (also known as overdenture). The second form of implant dentures (also known as hybrid implant dentures or all-on-4 or all-on-6) involves a minimum of four implants for each denture. These dentures are attached more permanently and can only be removed by a dentist. They require a yearly appointment to be removed and cleaned at our office.
Are Dental Implants Right For You?
The ADA lists dental implants as one of the most important developments in dentistry in the last 40 years. We have many patients who have chosen to receive dental implants to restore both looks and function to their mouth.