What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root made of a bio-material, which is placed in the socket of the teeth that are lost or have been lost to carry a tooth replacement. The material is generally pure, unalloyed titanium, which is completely accepted by the human body.
How does implantation take place?
During the preliminary examination the doctor checks the patient to decide if a placement of a dental implants can be carried out. This includes a dental examination (which teeth must be substituted, if the jaw is suitable for receiving the implants, taking of X-ray shots, etc)
The next phase is the planning of the replacement during which the dentist consults the patient on several different issues. (how many implants would be needed, if the patient wants a temporary replacement during the period of osseointegration, the expected costs of tooth substitution, making a schedule for implant placement, etc.).
The insertion of the implants can be performed under local anesthesia, or with any combination of sedation such as nitrous oxide, pills or IV Sedation. A special license is required by the State Board of Dental Examiners if the patient is to have any type of sedation. First the dentist prepares the area of the jaw where the implants are to be placed, then inserts the implant. After the implants have been placed a temporary solution with teeth is designed for the implants & the healing period begins.
The healing period
The healing period lasts for about 3-4 months. During this time bone cells grow into the micro-pores created on the surface of the implant. This process is called osseointegration, and ensures the implants fix in place and become able to support a normal biting load long-term without any damage. The healing period is only different when oral surgery had also been involved during or before the implantation process. In the cases of bone replacement with implantation the healing time is 6 months, sinus lift with implantation is 8 months.
When the healing period is over and before tooth replacement takes place, the healing screws are inserted into the implants. These healing screws have a tissue-forming function before the actual crowns or bridges are fitted. Then, the implants are uncovered, and the abutment pieces are fitted into them to support or retain the replacement of the new crown. Following this, the prosthesis is prepared in the dental laboratory and fixed onto the implant.
Contact between patient and dentist does not stop with the placement of the new teeth. Among the most important criteria for the long-running success in dental implants is good oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups. Patients wearing implant-based tooth replacements must regularly have an examination & cleaning twice a year. At this check up appointment the dentist verifies the state of the attachment of the bone and the mucosa around the implant(s) and that of the tooth replacement. The dentist may make necessary corrections if needed (ie. removes plaque).
What are the advantages of implantation compared to traditional tooth replacement?
In the case of one or more missing teeth where you have teeth on either side, the replacement can be prepared by the substitution of the root of the lost teeth with an implant. Traditional (crown and bridge) prosthetics can only solve this by damaging neighboring healthy teeth to make a bridge.
Implants provide a way to create a fixed prosthesis also in cases when traditionally only a partial removable denture could be prepared.
In these cases implant-based tooth replacement provides more stability and better chewing strength than traditional solutions. Besides feeling physically better while eating, the patient feels psychologically better. All these factors together improve the patient's quality of life.
In the case of total edentulism (no teeth in your mouth) implants can serve as abutments to fix or retain a prosthesis (ie. Full denture) in many ways. Implants can be used to stabilize the removable prosthesis (with the help of ball-headed attachments or retention bars), or a sufficient number of implants can fix a complete artificial denture (bridge or over-denture).
The fixing of the tooth replacement onto the natural teeth or implants can be done by cementing or screwing (when the prosthesis is made to be removable by the dentist).
Who do we advise dental implantation?
Implant-based tooth replacement is recommended to those people who have proper oral hygiene and are willing to follow the oral hygiene rules proposed by the dentist. Implants are for patients who would not wear a partial denture, or if you are missing a tooth with healthy teeth on either side of the missing tooth. Implants can be placed almost any area of the arch provided you have enough healthy bone.
Implantation cannot be carried out before the age of 14.
Why is proper oral hygiene so important for patients wearing implants?
Good oral hygiene has a basic role in the long term viability of implant-based tooth replacement. Besides cleaning the teeth twice a day with a tooth brush and tooth paste in the usual way the neck-line of the implants- (or if it is covered by a crown), the surrounding gum and the underlying parts of the prosthesis must be carefully cleaned.
Plaque can be easily removed from these places with the help of an interdental tooth brush or dental floss
The other important requirement good dental implant success is a properly prepared prosthesis. If these two conditions are met, implants can last for a life-time.
If you have allergies or tumorous diseases how does it affect implants?
Implants are made of pure titanium. This metal has special biological characteristics, with which the bone can easily integrate. There is no record to be found which would state any allergy or tumors in connection with implants, as their surface is covered by a stable compound, titanium-oxide.
Bone augmentation is a term that is used to describe a variety of procedures that are used to 'build' bone so that dental implants can be placed. These procedures typically involve grafting (adding) bone or bonelike materials to the jaw, and waiting for the grafted material to fuse with the existing bone over several months. There are several different procedures that can be used for bone augmentation. Your dentist will select a procedure depending on the type, location and number of implants to be used. If you need a bone graft, it is important that you and your dentist discuss all of the options available to you.
Dental implants are man-made replacements for natural teeth. The implants themselves are artificial tooth roots carefully placed in the gum or jawbone, on which replacement teeth become permanently secured.
Dental implants are permanently fixed in the mouth,so you may brush your teeth once again without having to deal with the embarrassment of removing your teeth, or having to cut down on your adjacent teeth in order to receive a bridge. As a result, this allows you to return to the comfort and function associated with natural teeth.
Implants provide a solid foundation of support in the mouth for permanent, non-removable teeth. Increased chewing ability means you can enjoy more nutritious foods, contributing to your overall health and well-being. In short, dental implants improve the quality of your life.
They can improve your appearance, boost your self-confidence, and allow you to speak with greater clarity. Another advantage of dental implants is that they stop the continuous resorption of your jaw bone once the teeth are lost (this is a natural process that can only be stopped by placement of dental implants in the area of missing teeth).
Dental implantology is currently not a formal specialty in dentistry. Specialists such as oral and maxillofacial surgeons, periodontists, and more recently, prosthodontists play a role in the placement of implant fixtures. However, these procedures are not necessarily beyond the scope of general dentists.
Regardless of who places the implant, it is most appropriate for either a prosthodontist or general dentist to initiate and coordinate implant service, since they can best assess the merits of this treatment against other prosthetic options. However, the implant surgeon (the person performing the implant surgery) is ultimately responsible for correct placement in a co-treatment environment.
If you are interested in finding out more about Dental Implants , please contact Dr. Nolan at 310-827-5094 for a Free Consultation.