What are Dental Implants?For a long time, the only solutions for tooth loss have been a bridge or dentures. Both of these options are still available. Today, you have an additional option with dental implants.
Dental implants are a different solution for tooth loss. Instead of sitting above the gums like traditional solutions, dental implants involve the use of small posts, typically made from titanium, that are surgically implanted directly into your jawbone. As you heal from the procedure, your bone fuses to the posts. This process, called osseointegration, stabilizes the posts in your jaw. As a result, the posts essentially become a part of your jaw and can provide secure support for the ceramic crowns that replace your missing teeth.
What Types of Dental Implants are Available?Dental implants are incredibly versatile. There are several different types available, enabling us to meet several different needs.
A single tooth implant is one that replaces an individual tooth. It consists of a single post and a single crown. You may receive a single tooth implant if you are missing just one tooth or if you have individual teeth missing teeth in different areas of your mouth. In some cases, you may even have individual implants right next to one another.
A multiple teeth implant is sometimes called an implant supported bridge. It is often used when replacing two or more consecutive teeth, providing an alternative to a traditional bridge or partial denture. The number of posts needed to support your replacement teeth will depend upon your specific circumstances.
A full arch replacement, also called an implant supported denture, is an alternative to a traditional full denture. This type of restoration replaces an entire arch of teeth. Your replacement teeth are supported by 6 to 8 implant posts.
In some cases, your jawbone may be too weak to support the implant posts. If your bone is too weak, you may first be recommended a bone graft. This is a surgical procedure that is performed to restore missing bone mass to your jaw. If you are missing an entire arch of teeth, however, you may be able to avoid an additional surgery with an implant treatment called All on 4. All on 4 is a full arch replacement that supports your replacement teeth on only 4 implant posts rather than the typical 6 to 8.
How are Dental Implants Placed?Getting dental implants is a bit more involved than getting a bridge or denture. It requires surgery and a recovery period. Surgery is performed under local anesthetic and sedation. We begin by making small incisions in the gum tissue, which provides access to the jawbone. Next, a drill is used to create holes in the bone, and the implant posts are placed directly inside. Finally, the gums are sutured around the posts, and temporary teeth are set into place.
Recovery after implant surgery varies from patient to patient. Typically, it requires several weeks to several months. During this time, your bone gradually fuses to the posts, stabilizing them. Several follow up visits allow us to monitor your progress. Once you have fully healed, your permanent dental restorations are designed, created, and secured into place on the posts, leaving you with a beautiful new smile.
What are the Benefits of Dental Implants?There are many benefits to dental implants. These benefits include:
Dental implants provide an effective, long-term solution for tooth loss. If you have suffered tooth loss, call Harry Albers DDS at (707) 806-0545 to schedule your appointment today.
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