What is a Dental Implant?
Implants are a tooth replacement option that involves placing a new "root" into the bone of your jaw. Once this titanium "root" has fused with your bone it can be used to support a crown, bridge or denture. These implants can also be used to replace partials and other forms of dentures. The success rate for dental implants are extremely high and is due in part to the fact that root-form implants are made of a biocompatible material, titanium. Because titanium is accepted so well by the human body, it is also used for orthopedic implants, such as hip and knee replacements. Dental Implants have now become the standard for replacing older dentistry and missing teeth because they look and feel like your natural teeth and have a higher success rate than all other forms of tooth replacement. The initial cost is generally higher for an implant over other forms of tooth replacement, but the long term benefits easily outweigh the difference in additional cost. An investment in implant dentistry is an investment in overall health, appearance and well being, as it involves preserving the integrity of facial structures, as well as replacing missing teeth.
Dental Implant FAQ's
Dental Implants are embedded into the jaw bone so surrounding teeth are unaffected, in contrast a Dental Bridge requires the surrounding teeth, called abutment teeth, to be irreversibly modified with mounting hardware for the false tooth/teeth called the pontic. The pontic actually bridges the gap made between the lost teeth. The bridge is not a substitute for the tooth root and will not exercise the jaw bone to prevent atrophy. Both the gums and bone at the missing tooth gap eventually recede, leading to an unpleasing appearance.
Dentures can look unnatural and feel unpleasant. Dentures often require frequent dental visits for adjustments or even complete replacement do to gum atrophy. Additionally, full arch dentures can be expected to result in bone resorption (reduction) of the jaw bone requiring costly additional treatment.
Dental Implants are integrated into the jaw bone so surrounding teeth are unaffected and normal chewing pressure maintains the health of the gums and jaw bone. Implants have none of the drawbacks connected to the dental bridge or denture.
There are actually two phases to implant dentistry.
Phase 1: Using very accurate surgical techniques, an incision is made in the gum tissues and implants are placed into dimensionally controlled sites (depth and width) in the jawbone.
First, the gum tissue is opened and the jaw bone is tapped with a small drill and then drilled with a wider drill. The implant is inserted into place. The gum tissues are then closed and the healing phase begins. This may take anywhere from 3-6 months to ensure a strong base.
Phase 2: An abutment is secured to the top of the implant placing a new tooth crown onto the implant abutment. Implants can replace a single tooth, several teeth or your dentures.
The Benefits of Permanent Restorations Utilizing Dental Implants
Restored self-esteem and renewed self-confidence. Our patients who now enjoy the benefits of their new implant supported replacement teeth talk openly about their restored self-esteem and self-confidence as a result of a younger appearance, ability to eat the foods they want, increased comfort, and improved overall health.
Improved appearance. Since implants preserve bone, preventing deterioration of the facial structures and appearance is improved. When all the natural teeth are severely compromised or missing, there is nothing left in the jawbone to stimulate bone growth, the body senses that the jawbone is no longer necessary and begins to dissolve it away. This results in facial collapse.
After about ten years, it often becomes difficult to wear a denture because there is little bone left to support it. This results in the lips folding in, and the lower face shriveling up (witches chin) with wrinkles around the mouth making you look like a much older looking person. With dental implants, the appearance of these wrinkles caused by posterior bite collapse, or complete facial structure collapse are virtually eliminated.
Remove the embarrassment factor. Implant supported replacement teeth never have to come out, not for daily cleaning, not for home care hygiene maintenance (brushing and flossing), nor even during a hospital visit or other medical exam. They are permanent. Just like your new smile.
The mouth is restored as closely as possible to its natural state. By replacing the entire tooth, including the root, it is possible to replicate the function of natural teeth, with a strong, stable foundation that allows comfortable biting and chewing. In addition, nothing in the mouth looks or feels artificial. Dental implants are the closest thing we have to our natural teeth.
Your smile is improved when replacement teeth look more like natural teeth. Even when only one tooth is missing, long term aesthetics are usually much better with an implant supported replacement tooth than with a traditional tooth supported bridge. This is particularly important in the front of your mouth, where preventing a visible bone defect is critical for natural appearance.
Healthy adjacent teeth are not destroyed to replace missing teeth. Tooth replacement with traditional tooth-supported bridges requires grinding down the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth/teeth, so that the bridge can be cemented onto them and into place. This tooth structure can never be replaced and the long-term health of these "prepared" teeth is compromised. Partial dentures have clasps that hook onto adjacent teeth, putting pressure on the adjacent teeth as the partial rocks back and forth. Eventually these teeth can loosen and fail as a result of this unnatural pressure. Replacing missing teeth with implant supported crowns/bridges does not involve the adjacent natural teeth, so they are not compromised, damaged or destroyed.
Overall quality of life is enhanced with replacement teeth that look, feel and function like natural teeth. With implant supported replacement teeth, the appearance of the smile is more natural and the teeth function more like natural teeth. The result is increased comfort and confidence when smiling, speaking, and eating. If dentures and partials are replaced with implant supported teeth, the overall enhancement in quality of life is even more significant, with an ability to eat all types of foods, elimination of messy adhesives, and improved speech, comfort and appearance.
If removable dentures and partials are replaced with implant supported fixed bridges, the overall enhancement in quality of life is even more significant.Your eating habits will improve Messy and potentially toxic adhesives used to hold dentures in place are eliminated Unsightly destructive metal clasps common with partial dentures, which tend to damage adjacent teeth and gums are now non-existent. Failing teeth can cause other health issues. It is well documented that periodontal disease is a bacterially induced chronic infection and inflammatory disease that does not resolve by itself. Unchecked, inflammation and infection contributes to heart attacks, strokes, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes and other chronic diseases. Dentists and cardiologists have long known that neglecting your teeth can lead to more than just a toothache. Scientific studies indicate there is a link between periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease. It has been shown that improving poor oral health can actually improve your overall health.
Convenient oral hygiene. Caring for an implant supported crown is the same as caring for natural teeth; however, it is one of the most frequently overlooked ingredients in implant success. It is recommended that you request an appointment to have regular dental check-ups and get annual x-rays to make sure the surrounding bone is supporting the implant correctly and to discuss and questions or current concerns you may have. These periodic visits will help keep your replacement teeth healthy for many years to come.
Single Tooth Implants
Do you have missing teeth? It is critically important to replace missing teeth. Eating and chewing with missing teeth can sabotage your bite and lead to incessant discomfort. Missing teeth can give rise to a mouth rearrangement that often results in facial changes that look decrepit.
A single tooth implant procedure may be done if a tooth has been extracted or is missing. A titanium implant base is placed into the jawbone to resemble the tooth root. We allow a period of time for the jawbone to heal over the implant base before fitting for a crown.
Next, an abutment is screwed into the base of the implant to allow for a crown to be fitted on top. Finally, a custom fabricated crown is placed over the abutment to function like a real tooth.
Multiple Tooth Implants
Multiple tooth implants may be placed if you need or desire to permanently replace an extracted or lost tooth. Titanium implant bases are placed into the jawbone to replace the job of the tooth roots. We allow a period of time to allow for the jawbone to heal over the bases before fitting for a crown. Next, abutments are screwed into the bases of the implants to allow crowns to be attached. Finally, custom fabricated crowns are placed over the abutments and will function like a real tooth.
Full Arch Implants
If you have slipping dentures and are tired of being self-conscious about the thought of losing them at an inopportune moment, a full arch implant might be the solution for you. Dental implants that can be placed to accept a full arch of teeth. This is done by strategically placing implants along the upper or lower jaw and attaching a denture-like attachment over abutments on the implant posts. Once placed, a full arch using implants will feel and perform like natural teeth. You will be able to chew with confidence and never have to worry again about losing your dentures.
Day Of Treatment
On the day of your appointment please arrive 15-20 minutes prior to your scheduled time. This has proven to help patients settle in and release the pre-surgery nervousness. We will make you as comfortable as possible during your visit.
We recommend bringing along a friend or relative on the day of your treatment. Depending on the procedure itself, you may be receiving anesthesia and possibly other medication during the surgery. It is important that an adult accompany you to the office, stay during the procedure and drive you home after your recovery.
We will provide you with detailed information regarding medication, food, drink, and other preparations that you may need. Please follow their instructions on the day of your treatment. We will also provide you with complete post-surgery instructions including cleaning and maintenance instructions, and if necessary we'll provide you with prescriptions for any medications necessary to reduce the post-surgery discomfort and to help you toward a speedy recovery.
We'll arrange follow-up appointments to assure you maintain a beautiful, natural smile for years to come.
In many situations it is possible to remove the diseased and/or loose teeth and replace them with dental implants at the same time. In almost all situations simultaneous bone grafting is completed. This method of treatment reduces the number of surgical visits. It also speeds up the entire process enabling the implants to be ready to receive (caps/crowns) more quickly.
Implant Supported Dentures
This implant technique, is the optimal solution for those who have lost or are about to lose all of their upper and/or lower teeth. It's a procedure that comes closest to having a new set of permanent teeth.
This prosthesis is used in special situations for patients who have enough bone in the anterior regions of the lower or upper jaws, but limited amount of bone in the posterior regions and are not candidates for extensive bone grafting.
Mini dental implants (MDI) were developed in order to provide greater denture stability for those patients who:
- Cannot withstand the rigors of conventional dental implant surgery.
- Do not have enough bone to allow full-size implants to be placed.
- Are in on-going therapy from one prosthetic system to another.
The head of the mini implants are shaped like a ball, and the retaining fixture acts like a socket that contains a rubber o-ring. The o-ring snaps over the ball when the denture is seated and holds the denture at a predetermined level of force.
Mini implants can generally be placed start to finish in one to two visits. There is no waiting time for the bone to heal. In many cases, mini implants are placed and the patient walks out with their dentures secured on the same day.
After Placement of Dental Implants
Do not disturb the wound. Avoid rinsing, spitting, or touching the wound on the day of surgery. There will be a metal healing abutment protruding through the gingival (gum) tissue.
BLEEDING. Some bleeding or redness in the saliva is normal for 24 hours. Excessive bleeding can be controlled by biting on a gauze pad placed directly on the bleeding area for 30 minutes. If bleeding continues please call the office for further instructions.
SWELLING. Swelling around the mouth, cheeks, eyes and sides of the face is not uncommon as it is the body's normal process in repairing itself. Swelling does not always appear immediately. It may take 12 to 24 hours before swelling becomes apparent. Swelling may not reach its maximum until 2-3 days post-surgery. Swelling may be minimized by the immediate use of ice packs post-surgery. Two baggies filled with ice, or ice packs should be applied to the sides of the face where surgery was performed. The ice packs should be left on continuously while you are awake. After 36 hours, ice has no beneficial effect. If swelling or jaw stiffness has persisted for several days call the office.
DIET. Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid hot liquids or hot food. Soft food and liquids should be eaten on the day of surgery. Return to a normal diet as soon as possible unless otherwise directed.
PAIN MEDICATION. You should begin taking pain medication as soon as you feel the local anesthetic wearing off. For moderate pain, 1 or 2 Tylenol or Extra Strength Tylenol may be taken every 3-4 hours. Ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) may be taken instead of Tylenol. Ibuprofen, bought over the counter comes in 200 mg tablets: 2-3 tablets may be taken every 3-4 hours as needed for pain. For severe pain, the prescribed medication should be taken as directed. Be sure to take the prescribed antibiotics as directed to help prevent infection. Do not take any of the above medication if you are allergic, or have been instructed by Columbus Family Dental Center not to take it.
HOME HYGIENE CARE. The night of surgery, use the prescribed Peridex Oral Rinse before bed. The day after surgery, the Peridex should be used twice daily, after breakfast and before bed. Be sure to rinse for at least 30 seconds then spit it out. Warm salt water rinses (teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) should be used at least 4-5 times a day, as well, especially after meals. Brushing your teeth and the healing abutments is no problem, but be gentle initially with brushing the surgical areas. Good oral hygiene is essential to good healing.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY. Keep physical activities to a minimum immediately following surgery. Physical activity could cause throbbing or bleeding of the surgical implant area.
WEARING DENTURES. You will always have teeth during your recovery period. Temporary partial dentures or full denture arches should not be used immediately after surgery and for at least 10 days.
A Beautiful Smile Is Waiting For You
Our office provides smile makeovers to achieve the beautiful, natural look you seek. We can reshape your natural teeth to make them straighter and more youthful. Our office is easily accessible and makes it convenient to those living near Columbus to get the care they deserve.
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