People’s life spans have increased exponentially, and while regular cleanings, teeth brushing, flossing, and checkups allow many of us to maintain our natural smiles for a lifetime, there are cases where our teeth simply cannot keep up. If you have lost teeth, due to injury or disease, dental implants can refresh your smile and your oral health.
An implant is a synthetic tooth root in the shape of a post that is surgically places into the jawbone. The “root” is generally made of titanium: the same material used to replace hips and knees, and a metal that is well suited to pairing with human bone. Next, a replacement tooth is then fixed to the post. The tooth could either be permanent or removable. Permanent teeth however, are stronger, and feel more like your natural teeth.
An implant candidate ideally is a non-smoker with good oral health, including a sufficient amount of bone in the jaw, and healthy gums, with no signs of gum disease.
Single or Multiple Implants
Implants are versatile. If you are only missing a single tooth, one implant will do the trick. If you are missing a few in a row, a few implants can be strategically placed to hold up a bridge. Similarly, if all of your teeth are missing, a full bridge or denture can be placed with a strategic amount of implants.
Implants vs. Dentures or Bridges
Conventional bridges and dentures do not get fixed to the jawbone, and can therefore be unstable. This can make it difficult to eat or even smile confidently. Implants not only are visually more natural, they feel and act like normal teeth, with a stronger bite force. Because they do not rely on surrounding teeth for support, implants don’t compromise the health of your regular teeth. In fact, the lifespan of a bridge is only seven to ten years, and even less with a root canal, whereas implants will typically last a lifetime.
Consider these new replacement teeth as natural teeth. They will require the same amount of daily brushing and flossing, as well as the same amount of regular checkups. Just like your natural teeth, the better you care for your replacements, the longer they will last.
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 surrounded by solid bone. A sinus lift augmentation/graft is a surgical procedure that restores the sinus cavity to its original size, and replaces the bone that has been 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 from the chin or in 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, enabling the best possible placement of your dental implants. This 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.