What are dental implants?
Dental Implants are one of the most successful and exciting advancements in dental procedures today! They are truly changing our patient’s lives by helping them rediscover the comfort and confidence their natural teeth once gave them. They have the highest success rate of any procedure in dentistry today.
Dental Implants are designed to provide a stable foundation for replacement teeth to take the place of missing or damaged teeth. When a damaged or decayed tooth is removed, the visible part of the tooth (the crown) and the root are lost. A dental implant is a cylindrical titanium post that is placed in the jawbone and serves as a substitute for the tooth root. An abutment or connector is later placed into the implant to connect the implant with the replacement tooth. A crown is then placed on this connector to match your natural teeth. Dental implants are the closest you can get to healthy, natural teeth. They make it possible for cosmetic dentists such as Dr. Fitch to create healthy, functional, comfortable & attractive smiles. They can also support a bridge and eliminate the need for a removable partial or full denture. The benefits of implants are that they allow you to confidently eat what you want, smile, laugh and talk comfortably without thinking about your teeth. Learn more about the benefits of dental implants by reading this article.
There are generally three stages to Dental Implants.
1. Evaluation for Dental Implants: Initially you will have a detailed consultation with Dr. Fitch to determine if you are a candidate for implants and to evaluate your specific implant needs based upon a thorough exam, x-rays and health history. Factors to be considered include your medical history, the amount of bone available to place the implant into, spacing, and type of final crown or appliance desired.
2. Placement of Dental Implants – The Surgical Procedure: Once it is determined that implants are a good option, Dr. Fitch will place the implant which is actually a small titanium post under the gum into the underlying bone. The surgery is done here in our office generally with oral sedation. As you heal, your implant will integrate or fuse with your natural jawbone.
This will usually take 3 to 6 months. Surgical and technical advancements have made it possible to place and restore implants in shorter time frames in specific situations. In some cases when there is sufficient bone, a new procedure called “immediate loading” is an option where in a single-day procedure the implant(s) and crown(s) or full sets of teeth are placed simultaneously. The technique to replace all of your teeth in one day is referred to as “All on Four”. Generally this technique is used to restore an entire arch (upper or lower) on 4 or 5 implants.
3.New Prosthetic teeth or Crowns: Dr. Fitch will then create your crowns or replacement teeth. At that time, the implant is uncovered and a small connector called an abutment will be placed into the implant to which the crown (or crown and bridge) is attached. Dr. Fitch has years of experience, creating beautiful and natural looking crowns which match your natural teeth. The benefit to Dr. Fitch placing the implant and restoring it is that he can make sure the implant is positioned such that he can create the best looking and functioning crowns that match your own teeth in length and color as well as making your bite fit naturally. Dental implants are also a great alternative to bridges as they are a tremendous way to secure a full set of teeth, and the ideal foundation for aesthetically pleasing replacement teeth preserving your youthful facial structure. Once the Dental Implants are in place they will serve you well for many, many years if you take care of them by taking time for good oral hygiene (brushing and flossing) and keeping your regular hygiene appointments with our office. You will be able to eat just about anything comfortably and to smile broadly knowing that your teeth are secure and look absolutely natural!
What are the benefits of dental implants over other treatments?
- They are the next best thing to healthy, natural teeth They are strong and stable and prevent further bone deterioration.
- Built to last. Dental implants are a long-term solution which last much longer than traditional dental bridges (which typically last only five to 10 years) Dental implants can last a lifetime when properly placed and cared for.
- Retain your natural face shape – a faces without teeth can sag and appear sunken and sad.
- Dental implants allow you to maintain the natural shape of your face.
- Protect healthy bone – leaving empty spaces after losing teeth leads to the loss and deterioration of some of your jawbone.
- Keep your teeth in your mouth – not a cup
- More comfortable – because dental implants are securely anchored, there is no slipping or movement as with denture.
- Speak easy-again because dental implants fit securely as your natural teeth would, there is no struggling to speak as with loose fitting or poor fitting dentures.
- Eat your favorite food! Taste and enjoy the foods you love without the discomfort of removable dentures.
- No cavities! Cavities can’t occur in an implant-restored crown