What are dental implants?
The most impressive tooth replacement option available today is dental implants. For a long time, there were ways to replace the form and some of the function of teeth, but they had downsides. With dental implants, you get a fully permanent tooth replacement option that you can treat exactly like your natural teeth. However, what exactly are dental implants and how do they help you lead a better life? At Mark C. Waring, DDS we want you to approach every procedure and decision with as much education on the subject as possible, that way you will feel confident about your decisions. Take a moment to learn as much as you would like about dental implants and how they can help you!
The Role of Dental Implants
Dental implants offer extreme versatility in that they can support single tooth restorations, bridges, and even full arches of missing teeth. Not only do they replace missing teeth, but they also do so permanently and without the need for special care options. With dentures or partial dentures, you have to remove them to sleep and to clean them, which results in a huge hassle. Dental implants can be taken care of the same way you take care of your regular teeth, with normal brushing and flossing.
The Health Benefits of Dental Implants
Because dental implants are surgically placed into your jaw, they help with your oral health. When you lose a tooth, the bone in your jaw stops receiving the tactile feedback that it needs to stay strong. Eventually, the bone in your jaw will start to recede if nothing is done and the tooth isn’t replaced. If you replace your missing tooth with a dental implant, the implant plays the part of your tooth while sitting in your jaw, stimulating the bone to repair itself, helping it to stay strong.
Being able to eat the foods that you want, when you want also plays a big role in your overall health. Where dentures and partial dentures don’t allow you to eat certain foods, dental implants allow you the freedom to eat whatever you would like!
The Parts That Make A Dental Implant
There are three parts to every dental implant – the post, abutment, and the restoration. Each part is placed at a different time and serves a specific purpose. Below we list what each part is and the procedure for having them placed.
Dental Implant Post
The implant post made of titanium and is the first part of the implant placement procedure. The post is made of titanium because it is a biocompatible metal that the human body does not typically reject. The post acts as the base for the rest of the implant, providing a sturdy anchor in your jaw.
To place the post in your jaw, we will first ensure your comfort throughout the procedure by giving you some local anesthetic which will numb the site and prevent you from feeling anything. We have some other sedation options available including nitrous oxide, IV sedation, and general anesthesia. Once we are sure of your comfort we will expose a small portion of your jaw bone by making a small incision in your gums. We will use a special drill to prepare your jaw bone to receive the implant post and place the post into the prepared site.
As the bone in your jaw heals, it will grow around the post in a process known as osseointegration. Eventually, the bone in your jaw will form a strong mechanical bond with the implant, and it will be time for the second stage of the implant placement procedure – the abutment and restoration placement.
Dental Implant Abutment
The abutment is a go-between of sorts that screws into the top of the post and is affixed with a permanent dental cement. The abutment functions solely to connect the implant restoration to the implant post and it does so by providing surface area for the restoration to be cemented to. Placing the abutment doesn’t take much time.
Dental Implant Restoration
The implant restoration is the final part of the implant to be placed. This step will be different depending on what kind of restoration you are having placed. If you are having a single tooth replacement restoration placed we will simply attach the restoration to the abutment with permanent dental adhesive after making sure it is positioned correctly in your bite. Things become slightly more complex when placing bridges and full arch solutions.
Types of Restorations
We will have your implant restorations crafted out of some high-quality materials, each offering its special traits. Below you will find a list of common implant restoration materials.
Ceramics like zirconia offer some of the most impressive mixtures of aesthetic beauty and long-term durability available today. Ceramic restorations are milled out of solid blocks of the ceramic material using special milling machines that precisely match the restoration to your bite.
Porcelain is a very common dental restoration material because of how closely it mimics the look of a natural tooth. Porcelain cannot withstand the pressures that the rear molars are subjected to so it is typically used to restore teeth that can be seen in the smile.
Fused to Metal
Metal is another very common material that is used to restore teeth. Usually, metal acts as the base for the restoration and has one of the above materials (porcelain or ceramic) fused to its surface to make the restoration look like a natural tooth. Metal is the strongest material that we can craft a restoration out of.
Following Dental Implant Placement
Proper care of your dental implants is paramount to ensure their long-term success. It is important to refrain from tobacco use of any kind as it can cause implant failure. A soft food diet may be required following dental implant placement.
Please call us today at (480) 820-4342 to schedule your appointment or a no obligation consultation. We take great pride in offering our patients the very best in dental care and look forward to seeing your smile.