If you are missing one or more teeth or are bothered by dentures or partials that slip, implant dentistry may be right for you! Besides the obvious cosmetic inconvenience of missing teeth, additional oral and general health problems may result when teeth are not replaced.
If your upper jaw or lower jaw is “edentulous” meaning all the teeth in the jaw are missing, bone resorption” will occur in the jaw. The body “resorbs” the jawbone that used to surround the roots, causing the bone to “shrink”. This frequently causes problems for denture wearers because as the jawbone shrinks, their dentures become loose and don’t fit properly. When implants are used to support a denture or replace missing teeth, jawbone loss is reduced or eliminated.
What is Implant Dentistry?
Natural teeth are stable biting and chewing surfaces because the tooth roots are firmly anchored and supported by the surrounding jawbone. Implants are prosthetic teeth that function much the same way. Implants are tooth root substitutes that look, feel and function much like the roots of natural teeth. These prosthetic teeth can replace a single missing tooth, several missing teeth or all of you missing teeth.
Studies have shown this procedure to have a high rate of success, and can last for many years when cared for properly.
The implant itself is a tiny metal cylinder that is surgically inserted in the jawbone and functions as the replacement root that one or more prosthetic teeth. Your surgeon will choose the one that best suits your particular situation.
The materials used are biocompatible, meaning it is well accepted by the body. Over time, the jawbone grows into the surfaces of the artificial tooth root, anchoring it firmly in place. This process of bone attachment is known as “osseointegration”.
A single prosthetic tooth involves three separate parts: the root (implant), the post that supports the artificial tooth (known as the abutment) and the prosthetic tooth. The artificial tooth or crown may be cemented onto the post or held in place with tiny screws. Because they are stronger than natural tooth roots, several missing teeth can often be placed on one post.
Endosteal implants can provide a method of anchoring an upper or lower denture, for replacing a full or partial denture with fixed bridgework, or can replace a single missing tooth.
The Implant Procedure:
For most people, implant dentistry involves two surgical procedures, and one or more restorative visits to place your new teeth. First, a titanium post is placed in your jawbone where you tooth roots used to be. Over the next three to six months, the jawbone grows around it, anchoring it firmly in place. At your next visit, your surgeon will attach a small post used to support the artificial tooth. Once your new teeth are placed, theses posts will not be seen.
Can you benefit from implant dentistry?
This procedure can be beneficial for people of all ages, however, your surgeon and restorative dentist to determine if you are a good candidate must evaluate you. Prosthetic teeth can improve the way you live. With implant dentistry, you will rediscover the comfort and confidence to eat, speak, laugh, and smile!