Missing one or more teeth? Then you are part of half of today’s population. Consider replacing them with dental implants. Dental implants have a natural look, feel, and function which make them the most comfortable and attractive replacement for missing teeth. Dental implants can also help to make other tooth replacement options, such as dentures, more effective and comfortable.
What is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is a small titanium cylinder that serves as a tooth root replacement. An implant is placed in the space where a natural tooth root used to be and then bonds with the surrounding bone, providing a stable and strong support for a replacement tooth crown, which is attached to the implant by an abutment. Because dental implants imitate the look and function of natural teeth more closely than any other form of tooth replacement available, they are the ideal choice for replacing missing teeth.
Dental Implants vs. Fixed Bridges
Patients who choose dental implants can avoid the problems typically associated with other tooth replacement options like bridges and removable dentures. With a bridge, the replacement crown is supported by the adjacent teeth, which must be ground down for the bridge to be placed. Teeth that support a bridge have a significantly increased chance of failure due to tooth decay. Many bridges need to be replaced within five to seven years of being placed. Dental implants never decay and they eliminate the need to affect adjacent teeth. Unlike a bridge, dental implants also allow for regular flossing and brushing.
Dental Implants vs. Removable Dentures
Removable dentures often slip and make clicking sounds, causing discomfort and embarrassment when eating and speaking. Removable dentures can severely limit the kinds of foods you are able to eat, which may negatively impact your quality of life and even your nutrition. Without teeth, the jaw bone deteriorates and may no longer support facial features in the same way. Removable dentures can accelerate this bone loss and contribute to a look of premature aging in the face. Dentures held in place by dental implants can free you from the negative effects of conventional dentures, preventing bone loss and freeing you to eat the foods you once loved. And, fixed dentures fit comfortably and securely in your mouth, eliminating slippage and embarrassing clicking noises.
Who Actually Performs the Implant Placement?
Implants are a team effort between Brentwood Oral Surgery and your Restorative Dentist. While Dr. Matthew performs the actual implant surgery, and initial tooth extractions and bone grafting if necessary, the restorative dentist (your dentist) fits and makes the permanent prosthesis(crown). Your dentist will also make any temporary prosthesis(crown) needed during the implant process. A single prosthesis (crown) is used to replace one missing tooth – each prosthetic tooth attaches to its own implant. A partial prosthesis (fixed bridge) can replace two or more teeth and may require only two or three implants. A complete dental prosthesis (fixed denture) replaces all the teeth in your upper or lower jaw. The number of implants varies depending upon which type of complete prosthesis (removable or fixed) is recommended. A removable prosthesis (over denture) attaches to a bar or ball in socket attachments, whereas a fixed prosthesis is permanent and removable only by the dentist. We perform in-office implant surgery in a hospital-style setting which optimizing the level of sterility. In-patient hospital implant surgery is for patients who have special medical or anesthetic needs or for those who need extensive bone grafting from the jaw, hip or tibia.
Why Dental Implants?
Once you learn about dental implants, you will realize there is a way to improve your life. When you lose several teeth – whether it’s a new situation or something you have lived with for years – chances are you have never become fully accustomed to losing such a vital part of yourself.
What about other treatment options to replace my teeth?
There are other options available but why sacrifice the structure of surrounding good teeth to bridge a space? In addition, removing a denture or a “partial” at night may be inconvenient, not to mention that dentures that slip can be uncomfortable and challenging to get used to.
Are Dental Implants for anybody?
If you are considering implants, your mouth must be examined thoroughly and your medical and dental history reviewed. If you mouth is not ideal for implants, ways of improving outcome, such as bone grafting, may be recommended.
Is the Implant surgery painful?
The majority of dental implants and bone grafts are performed in the office while you are comfortably asleep under a combination of IV and local anesthesia. In some cases, a patient may remain awake under local anesthesia only. Dr. Matthew will discuss the anaesthesia options with you and prescribe an effective post surgery pain management protocol best suited for you.
How do I look after my dental implants?
Once the implants are in place, they will serve you well for many years if you take care of them and keep your mouth healthy. This means taking the time for good oral hygiene (brushing and flossing) and keeping regular appointments with your dental specialists.