Dental implants are the latest solution to tooth loss or decay. Implants are a method of replacing tooth roots and building replacement teeth around them to restore your smile to its previous appearance, in many cases making it even more attractive than before. Periodontal disease, injury, gingivitis, and general decay can lead to partial or complete tooth loss. All of these issues may be remedied with dental implants. Your doctor will assess the condition of your gums and jaw bones to determine if you are a candidate for the procedure. When properly cared for, dental implants can last for many years, even a lifetime. The benefits of implants vs. dentures are numerous; your quality of life will improve greatly without the maintenance and hassle of keeping false teeth in place. These restorative procedures not only provide one with greater self-confidence, they also allow the patient better chewing and eating capability, as well as clearer speech. The impact of a quality smile can be felt in many aspects of one’s life.
First, an x-ray will allow your dental care provider to identify the condition of your jawbone. After determining that your bones and gums are healthy enough for treatment, a titanium post can be placed into the bone in the location of the former tooth. After the bone tissue heals around the posts, known as osseointegration, a replacement tooth modeled after your own is attached to the implant. The replacement tooth is also known as a crown. This procedure may be recommended to our patients who are only missing a single tooth.
All-on-4 is a prosthodontic technique in which at least 4 implants are placed and fitted with either a bridge or denture. This option is usually more cost effective than traditional implants because it does not require bone grafts in the event the jawbone is compromised. The procedure is ideal for candidates who have significant tooth loss and bone decay. Implants are placed at an angle instead of the typical vertical installation of the posts. When you consult with your doctor, he will determine the best technique for your case.
Mini implants are as effective, but typically less costly than traditional implants. Many times the process takes less time than traditional implants. Mini implants are smaller versions of traditional titanium implant posts, and the procedure can be more comfortable and less invasive compared to traditional implants, providing you with an even better experience. Mini implants help with denture stabilization, a concern seen frequently in dentistry. The process by which this type of implant is installed is simple: 4 small holes are drilled into the tissue of the jawbone, then metal casings are fit, over which your denture will attach.
Post-Op and After Care
Since dental implants are an outpatient procedure, it is important that you take good care of the affected area post-op and beyond. The recovery period after the implants are placed is about 10 days, during which time it is recommended that you eat soft foods. Antibiotics may be prescribed to patients with certain heart conditions and vascular or orthopedic implants. The entire process takes approximately 3-9 months from start to finish, depending on your unique needs, as well as the type of implant procedure selected.