There are several ways to deal with missing teeth but the most successful has been to use dental implants. They are the most stable teeth replacements and are long-lasting. Our dentists at Riverside Dental Care are particularly adept at installing and utilizing dental implants so the implants blend naturally with the rest of your teeth.
What Are Dental Implants
Dental implants consist of three parts: titanium post, abutment, and crown. Titanium posts are used because of it is a hypoallergenic metal which your jaw bone will fuse to just as it did for your natural teeth. The titanium post is screwed into the jaw bone, keeping the replacement tooth just as secure as your natural teeth. Some posts are made with zirconium but it is not a common practice.
The abutment is the cap for the end of the implanted post which the crown rests on. Our dentists will make sure that the new crown matches the rest of your teeth so you can have you smile restored to normal. Dental implants will last on average 15 years and many regularly last 20 years or longer.
Types Of Dental Implant Services Available
Due to the high versatility of dental implants, there are many dental services available which utilize implant technology.
- Dental implant – If you are looking to replace one or more missing teeth, dental implants are the most secure and natural way to have those teeth replaced.
- Implanted dental bridge – Traditional bridges require neighboring teeth to be ground down and crowned to support the dental bridge. With an implanted dental bridge, the neighboring teeth are left alone and the implanted bridge supports itself.
- Implant-fixed dentures – To help keep dentures as secure as natural teeth, posts are implanted into the jaw bone, then the dentures are affixed to the implanted posts. No need to mess around with adhesives or worry that the teeth will slip.
- Implant-supported dentures – Like implant-fixed dentures, posts are implanted into the jaw bone. However, a bar will be added to the posts, which will hold the dentures secure. The dentures can be removed on and off this support bar.
Problems Dental Implants Solve
When you need to replace a tooth, some of the other dental options fall a bit short of what dental implants can do for your smile. Some of the problems that implants solve are:
- Long-lasting replacement of missing teeth without affecting adjacent teeth.
- Prevents bone loss from occurring at the site of a missing tooth as the implanted post supports jaw bone growth.
- Can correct problems with chewing, speaking, and bite problems caused by missing teeth.
- Creates support for other dental procedures so they can last longer, increase comfort, and be more secure.
- Restores a patient’s confident smile.
- Enhance facial features which may have sunken due to missing teeth.
How To Obtain Implants
The process of getting implants requires a number of visits over several months. You will first need to meet with our dentists, who will do an initial assessment. After which, our dentists will outline what will be done over the series of appointments.
X-rays and impressions (molds) are taken of the jaw and teeth to determine bone, gum tissue, and spacing available for an implant. Once that is determined, our dentists will be able to create a tooth to fit perfectly in the space you have available for a new tooth. It will also be color-matched to the rest of your teeth at this time.
When it comes to implanting the new tooth, our dentists will numb the area receiving the post. While the area is numb, the implant will be surgically placed into the bone and allowed to heal and integrate itself to the jaw bone. The healing process generally takes between 6 to 12 weeks.
After several weeks of healing, the abutment and crown are fitted to the post portion of the anchor. Several fittings may be required to ensure that the tooth is comfortably situated, so this step may take 1 to 2 months to complete. After a healing period, the abutment and crown are securely attached to the implant, providing excellent stability and comfort to the patient.
Our dentists will give you detailed care instructions when your treatment is completed, while good oral hygiene, eating habits, and regular dental visits to our office will aid in the life of your new implant.