Everything You Need to know about Dental Implants
Are you tired of that missing tooth in your mouth? Every time you eat, food gets in that space; sometimes crunchy foods hurt the gums, right? Then you need Dental implants!
Are you tired of those loose dentures that wobble? Have you ever had an embarrasing moment when dentures come out while speaking or eating? Are you fed up with denture adhesive? Then dental implants are also for you!
Do you hurt from loose teeth? Do you have infections and bad breath? Are your teeth shifting positions and biting down on foods causes you pain? You guested it… implants are also for you too!
A dental implant is the most innovative thing to ever hit the dental profession. Implants are used to restore a missing tooth or to support a denture. In both cases, the implant acts as a root that goes directly to the bone in your mouth to secure a single tooth, a few or all the teeth in your mouth. Imagine your teeth fastened to your mouth as they should be. That’s what implants do!
Implants are made of metal, titanium in most cases to be exact. They are placed by a trained dentist directly into the jawbone. The procedure is simple; simpler than a pulling. Really! No joke!!! Much like putting a picture frame on a wall, an implant is like the nail or screw on the wall and the tooth is like the frame. Only difference is that, in most cases, one has to wait 3 or 4 months before putting the picture frame on the screw. This is because the implant has to “take” to the bone, a process known as osteointegration.
Once an implant has taken to the bone, it serves as an anchor. In the case of a single tooth replacement, a connector, called an abutment, is placed over the implant. The abutment is what connects and holds the crown to the implant. The crown is the part of the tooth which you see in the mouth.
In the case of a denture, typically supported by several implants, each implant will have a similar connector. A common connector for dentures is called a Locator attachment. It functions like a snap-on to hold the denture in place. In this scenario, the denture can be detached from the mouth as needed for hygiene or for whatever reason.
Implants have revamped the dental profession. A world of alternatives has opened up for patients with all types of dental issues. And all solutions provided are good because implants spare bone loss. After a tooth is lost, the bone in the area vanishes over the next few years, eventually crippling the mouth
In the past the problem of missing teeth was dealt with 2 types of solutions: a denture or a bridge. Dentures represent technology of the 1800’s; still being used today because of low cost, but they are ridden with flaws as they create more problems than they solve. Few people are truly happy with their dentures. A bridge is technology of the 1940’s. It is a temporary solution to missing teeth because, in time, bone loss will occur around the anchoring teeth and the bridge will ultimately fail.
Implants stimulate the bone to remain in position and support the load of mastication. In effect, implants stabilize bone loss. This is exciting! For the first time in the dental profession we can provide a truly long-term solution to the missing teeth problem.
Ask your dentist how implants can change your life!!!
Everything You Need to know about Dental Implants
Dental implants are used to restore with astonishing looks and function spaces left by missing teeth. This technique is far superior to traditional dental prostheses, namely bridges and dentures. In essence, an implant replaces any tooth in your mouth as good as the original facsimile.
When a single tooth is lost, your ability to eat or even speak is affected negatively. Few people are content with leaving the missing tooth area unattended. And those who choose not to replace the lost tooth, find their bite and feel of the mouth changed forever. Over the years, teeth adjacent to the empty gap shift in position becoming tilted or over-grown. But most importantly, underneath the gum, the bone which supported the original tooth disappears at an alarming rate – about 40% the first year and 3 % every year thereafter. This subsequent bone loss is the real problem, and traditional solutions do not address this issue, but rather cause additional loss.
Dental implants offer a modern solution. An implant essentially replaces the root of the lost tooth. The bone has a new purpose—to hold the implant in place—thus, the bone is strengthened and maintained for years. Implants can be used in groups to restore several missing teeth in a row. Or, may even provide support to a loose denture when no teeth are present at all. Their applications are limitless.
Long-tern clinical studies have shown implants to be well over 95% successful. If an implant fails, it is usually for the same reasons that natural teeth fail: bone and gum breakdown, lack of proper care and hygiene, not returning to your professional check-up, accidents, or a newly occurring medical condition that affects the tissues of the mouth. Initial healing is a key factor to long term success. Smokers beware! It is a well-established fact that smoking, before or after placement, will diminish success. Excessive pressure and/or grinding on your teeth can also cause problems with the implant bonding to your bone. Additionally, female patients taking a group of drugs called bisphosphonases — examples are Fosamax, Boniva , Evista and others (taken for osteoporosis associated with menopause)– should inform your dentist before considering dental implants because problems may develop while bonding to the bone.
Placing a dental implant is a simple procedure. Many patients report that the discomfort is far less that expected. And although every patient is different, most patients are made very comfortable with minimal pain medication. The implant process is usually done in two steps. In the first procedure, which can be done with local anesthetics (just like a filling), the implant is placed in the jaw. The implant is allowed to heal and to stabilize in the jaw. After three or four months, the second procedure takes place. In this procedure, the dentist places a post into the implant and a mold is made. Shortly after (about two weeks or so), the artificial teeth (or tooth) are made, custom-designed to your mouth’s exact shape and size, ensuring comfort and proper function.
If you have been told that you “do not have enough bone for an implant”, do not despair! Bone may be “grafted” into a desired area to provide better quantity or quality of bone for placing implants. Please discuss this matter with Dr. Beauchamp who will be glad to explain your options.
A bright and exciting future awaits you. Feeling comfortable again is only a decision away!