General Dental Services
Dental implants are a great way to replace missing teeth and also provide a fixed solution to having removable partial or complete dentures. Implants provide excellent support and stability for these dental appliances.
Dental implants are artificial roots and teeth (usually titanium) that are surgically placed into the upper or lower jaw bone by an Oral Surgeon or Periodontist – a specialist of the gums.
Dental implants restore function, health and confidence. An estimated 20 million people in North America suffer the physical and emotional effects of missing teeth. State-of-the-Art dental implant technology is making a difference. Dental implants arepermanent replacements for missing teeth. They look, function and feel like healthy, natural teeth. The process of getting implants requires a number of visits and sometimes over a period of several months. Unlike crown and bridge treatment, dental implants do not require the alteration of adjacent natural, healthy teeth. They also prevent bone loss and the movement of natural, healthy teeth. Dental Implants also provide long-term cost benefits. Due to the wide variety of dental implant treatment options and expanding dental insurance coverage, dental implants are a more realistic option than ever before.
Reasons for dental implants:
Replace one or more missing teeth without affecting adjacent teeth.
Resolve joint pain or bite problems caused by teeth shifting into missing tooth space.
Restore a patient’s confident smile.
Restore chewing, speech, and digestion.
Restore or enhance facial tissues.
Support a bridge or denture, making them more secure and comfortable.
What does getting dental implants involve?
The process of getting implants requires a number of visits over several months.
X-rays and impressions (molds) are taken of the jaw and teeth to determine bone, gum tissue, and spacing available for an implant. While the area is numb, the implant will be surgically placed into the bone and allowed to heal and integrate itself onto the bone for up to six months. Jaw bone cells will permanently attach to the titanium implant (called osteointegration) giving us biological retention. In many cases, implants are stronger than original teeth. Beware of misleading advertising that implies you can get an implant placed crown secured on top of the implant all in one visit. This is biologically not possible; you cannot speed up the osteointegration process.
When the gum tissue is ready, a special post is attached to the implant. The post is the support for the new porcelain crown. Today’s technologies often include zirconium abutments attached to the implant post, to assure that the new porcelain tooth possesses translucency properties similar to a natural tooth. After impressions are taken a crown is made and shaded to match your existing teeth. The crown is then slipped over the post and cemented. The final prosthetic crown appears as a natural tooth.
You will receive care instructions when your treatment is completed. Good oral hygiene, eating habits, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new implant.
Replacing Several Teeth
If you are missing several teeth, implant-supported bridges can replace them. Dental implants will replace both your lost natural teeth and some of the roots. Dental implants provide several advantages over other teeth replacement options. In addition to looking and functioning like natural teeth, implant-supported bridges replace teeth without support from adjacent natural teeth. Other common treatments for the loss of several teeth, such as fixed bridges or removable partial dentures, are dependent on support from adjacent teeth.
Commonly if 3 teeth are missing, two implants act as the anchors (abutments) to support a bridge (segment of replacement teeth). The placement of implants and impression sequence are similar to the above example of a single tooth implant. The bridge once fabricated is cemented to the abutments so the prosthesis is secure and does not come out. Special care is taken in construction of the bridge to mimic natural adjacent teeth to restore esthetics and function.
In the long term, implants are esthetic, functional and comfortable. Gums and bone can recede around a fixed bridge or removable partial denture, leaving a visible defect. Resorbed bone beneath bridges or removable partial dentures can lead to a collapsed, unattractive smile. The cement holding bridges in place can wash out, allowing bacteria to decay teeth that anchor the bridge. In addition, removable partial dentures can move around in the mouth and reduce your ability to eat certain foods.
What does getting a dental implant supported bridge involve?
Just like having a single dental implant placed you will see the Oral Surgeon or Periodontist who will surgically place the implants into the bone. Because the Implant Supported Bridge will be replacing three or more teeth there will be two or more implants placed by the Surgeon. After a similar healing period and integration a special post or abutment is attached to the implants to support the new porcelain bridge.
The replacement teeth are made from top-quality dental porcelain and are custom-designed to match your natural teeth in shape, size, and color. The replacement teeth are a type of dental crown. The crowns are attached to each other, forming the dental bridge, which is attached to the abutments. Once the replacement teeth are in position, the abutment and dental implants are virtually indistinguishable from your natural smile.
Replacing All Of Your Teeth
Those who opt for implant supported dentures are more confident when they talk, laugh, and eat in public. This is because they do not have to worry about their false teeth slipping or falling out while they are eating or engaged in conversation. Implant supported dentures are also less likely than conventional dentures to interfere with normal speech. The loss of bone that accompanies conventional dentures leads to recession of the jawbone and a collapsed, unattractive smile. Implant supported dentures can help keep your bone healthy and intact.
Implants will allow you to enjoy foods like raw carrots, corn on the cob and apples that you may have avoided for years. Implant supported dentures can triple your biting force allowing you to eat any hard food that your original teeth were once able to do. McGill University inToronto conducted a study to determine if people, especially the elderly, can improve their chewing ability and nutrition if they wear dentures anchored by implants. After 6 months, the group with dental implants did not only increase their body fat but blood tests recorded significantly higher levels of albumin, hemoglobin (Iron) and vitamin B12 – all indicators of nutrition. The study group also reported significant improvements in their ability to chew meat and hard vegetables and did not avoid foods they did in the past.
What Does Getting Implant Supported Dentures To Replace My Teeth Involve?
The dental implants are placed into the jaw bone by an Oral Surgeon or Periodontist. The implants are normally are placed in at the front of the jawbone where tends to be more bone in the front of the jaw than in the back, even if teeth have been missing for some time. The front jaw does not have as many nerves or other structures that could interfere with the placement of implants. The dental implants are then left to heal for a period of time ranging from 2 months or more. During the healing period, Dr. Neal will modify existing full dentures or a new set of temporary full dentures made for wear so that the patient is with teeth at all times.
There are two types of implant-supported dentures:
- Bar-retained : A thin metal bar that follows the curve of your jaw is attached to two to five implants that have been placed in your jawbone. Clips or other types of attachments are fitted to the bar the denture, or to both. The denture fits over the bar and is securely clipped into place by the attachments
- Ball-retained : Each implant that is embedded in jawbone holds a metal stud attachment that fits into another attachment on the overdenture. In most cases, the attachments on the implants are ball-shaped that fit into socketson the overdenture but may be reversed in certain cases.
In both cases, the overdenture is normally made of an acrylic base that will look like gums, with porcelain or acrylic teeth that look like natural teeth.