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Dental Implants

Dental implants are a great way to replace missing teeth and also provide a fixed solution to having removable partial or complete dentures. Implants provide excellent support and stability for these dental appliances.

Dental implants are artificial roots and teeth (usually titanium) that are surgically placed into the upper or lower jaw bone by a Periodontist - a specialist of the gums and supporting bone.  The teeth attached to implants are very natural looking and often enhance or restore a patient’s smile!

Dental implants are very strong, stable, and durable and will last many years, but on occasion, they will have to be re-tightened or replaced due to normal wear.

Reasons for dental implants:

  • Replace one or more missing teeth without affecting adjacent teeth.
  • Resolve joint pain or bite problems caused by teeth shifting into missing tooth space.
  • Restore a patient’s confident smile.
  • Restore chewing, speech, and digestion.
  • Restore or enhance facial tissues.
  • Support a bridge or denture, making them more secure and comfortable.

What does getting dental implants involve?

The process of getting implants requires a number of visits over several months.

X-rays and impressions (molds) are taken of the jaw and teeth to determine bone, gum tissue, and spacing available for an implant.  While the area is numb, the implant will be surgically placed into the bone and allowed to heal and integrate itself onto the bone for up to six months.  Depending on the type of implant, a second surgery may be required in order to place the “post” that will hold the artificial tooth in place.  With other implants the post and anchor are already attached and placed at the same time.

After several weeks of healing the artificial teeth are made and fitted to the post portion of the anchor.  Because several fittings may be required, this step may take one to two months to complete.  After a healing period, the artificial teeth are securely attached to the implant, providing excellent stability and comfort to the patient.

You will receive care instructions when your treatment is completed.  Good oral hygiene, eating habits, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new implant.

Replacing a Single Tooth

If you are missing a single tooth, one implant and a crown can replace it. A dental implant replaces both the lost natural tooth and its root.

What are the advantages of a single-tooth implant over a bridge?

A dental implant provides several advantages over other tooth replacement options. In addition to looking and functioning like a natural tooth, a dental implant replaces a single tooth without sacrificing the health of neighboring teeth. The other common treatment for the loss of a single tooth, a tooth-supported fixed bridge, requires that adjacent teeth be ground down to support the cemented bridge.

Because a dental implant will replace your tooth root, the bone is better preserved. With a bridge, some of the bone that previously surrounded the tooth begins to resorb (deteriorate). Dental implants integrate with your jawbone, helping to keep the bone healthy and intact.

In the long term, a single implant can be more esthetic and easier to keep clean than a bridge. Gums can recede around a bridge, leaving a visible defect when the metal base or collar of the bridge becomes exposed. Resorbed bone beneath the bridge can lead to an unattractive smile. And, the cement holding the bridge in place can wash out, allowing bacteria to decay the teeth that anchor the bridge.

How will the implant be placed?

First, the implant, which looks like a screw or cylinder, is placed into your jaw. Over the next two to six months, the implant and the bone are allowed to bond together to form an anchor for your artificial tooth. During this time, a temporary tooth replacement option can be worn over the implant site.

Often, a second step of the procedure is necessary to uncover the implant and attach an extension. This small metal post, called an abutment, completes the foundation on which your new tooth will be placed. Your gums will be allowed to heal for a couple of weeks following this procedure.

There are some implant systems (one-stage) that do not require this second step. These systems use an implant which already has the extension piece attached. Your periodontist will advise you on which system is best for you.

A replacement tooth called a crown will be created for you by your dentist and attached to the abutment. After a short time, you will experience restored confidence in your smile and your ability to chew and speak. Dental implants are so natural-looking and feeling, you may forget you ever lost a tooth.

Several Teeth Missing

Benefits with fixed bridge on implants:

In this case, when replacing three teeth in the far back of the mouth, a fixed bridge anchored to dental implants is the only fixed alternative. Traditional dentures can't offer the same stability or function.

Having dental implants replacing your lost back teeth will give you  new, unparalleled strength and stability that allows you to eat what you want. It will also preserve your jawbone and facial appearance.

  • The only fixed alternative in this situation.
  • A stable, secure solution that lets you eat what you want
  • Preserves your facial appearance and prevents bone loss

Treatment:

After the initial examination, you can expect 4-5 additional visits until the final fixed bridge is permanently attached. It is normal to experience some minor bruising and swelling in the gum and soft tissue afterwards. Any discomfort is usually treated with an ordinary painkiller. You should expect to be able to work the next day.

ALTERNATIVES TO FIXED BRIDGE

Removable partial denture

This alternative is often perceived as uncomfortable and a bit complicated to use. Function can’t be compared to that of a bridge. This denture is made of plastic and metal, which affects its look. It is quite expensive to fabricate due to its many parts. However, the installation process is simple, and natural teeth are spared.

Upgrading Your Dentures

Millions of people are missing most or all of their teeth. For these people, a denture replacement solution that eliminates the need for denture adhesives might mean a new level comfort and ease in their life. Denture replacement alternatives use dental implants for support,  thereby removing the need for the use of messy and unreliable denture adhesives. Denture replacement solutions can even make sore gums obsolete.

Dental implants provide the foundation for our dental replacement alternatives. The use of dental implants can return the look and function that your current dentures and denture adhesives probably aren’t providing. Nobel Biocare has a forty-year history of success stories using dental implants and leads the dental implant market.

If you’re in need of denture repair, or if you’re simply tired of wearing your dentures, consider our denture replacement alternatives and leave your denture adhesives behind. Ask your dentist if you’re a candidate for dental implants.

It’s time to say goodbye to your denture adhesives.

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