Dental Implants and Dentures
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants have become the predominant choice for those who need replacement teeth. They are literally life changing! Patients with dental implants have discovered that they once again feel confident to smile, laugh, eat, and speak in public.
Dental implants are basic in concept. Small titanium posts are implanted in the jawbone where any teeth are missing. The replacement teeth are attached to the posts.
Why are dental implants so popular?
- Dental implants last longer than dentures. Bridges and dentures can potentially damage otherwise healthy teeth. They also fail to provide any support for the jawbone. Once teeth are missing, the bone that supported those teeth begins to dissolve away. Eventually, there are serious issues with bone structure, jaw alignment, and facial structure. These factors add up to necessitate the replacement of bridges and dentures at certain intervals. However, dental implants maintain the integrity of the bone because of the rods that are implanted in the bone. As the bone bonds with the titanium rods, a strong foundation is created for artificial teeth. Because the bone structure is retained, dental implants will normally last for a lifetime.
- Dental implants are more comfortable than dentures. Bridges and dentures have a tendency to be bulky. This makes them uncomfortable. Because dental implants are attached directly to titanium rods that are embedded in the jawbone, they feel like real teeth. There are no clumsy attachments in your mouth to hold the teeth in place. The patient with dental implants can also feel comfortable eating practically any food. They feel and function like real teeth. This increased comfort level produces and increased confidence level.
- Dental implants are much more aesthetically pleasing than dentures. They look exactly like your real teeth. They are attached to the titanium rods in such a way that they look completely natural. It is highly unlikely that anyone would be able to tell that they are not real. This, also, provides a tremendous amount of confidence.
What is the procedure for dental implants?
If implant dentistry sounds like the right choice for your situation, Drs. Walters or Bath-Walters would be pleased to have a consultation with you to answer questions and determine any specific needs you may have. At Advanced Dental Care & Aesthetics, our goal is to work closely with you to determine the best steps to take for your procedure to be successful.
There are three basic steps for dental implants.
- Metal anchors must be surgically placed in your jawbone. These anchors function as substitutes for the roots of your teeth.
- Titanium posts are attached to the metal anchors. These posts will protrude through the gum and provide an anchor for your artificial teeth.
- The replacement teeth are attached to the titanium posts.
Once we have determined the details for your treatment, the procedure will follow this basic process.
- The metal anchors, or implants, are surgically embedded in your jawbone where your teeth are missing. This is a minor surgery that usually only requires local anesthetic.
- Over the next three to six months, these implants will be bonding with your jawbone underneath the surface of your gums. During this time, you will most likely wear temporary dentures and be restricted to a soft diet.
- The second surgery will take place once the implants have bonded with the jawbone. During this surgery, your dentist will expose the implants that have been implanted in the jawbone and a small healing collar will be attached. Once again, this is a minor surgery, and the purpose for exposing the implants is for later attachment of the artificial teeth.
- The next part of the process is for your dentist to make an impression of your teeth so that he can start making your replacement teeth. Titanium rods are then attached to the metal anchor implants.
- The final step is to attach the new teeth to the titanium rods that have been connected to the implants embedded in the jawbone.
The entire process should take six to eight months, and you should not need to disrupt your daily schedule in any major way.