What are dental implants?
Dental implants are metal, screw-like posts that replace damaged or missing teeth with artificial teeth that look and function much like real ones. Dental implant surgery can offer a welcome alternative to dentures or bridgework that doesn’t fit well and can offer an option when a lack of natural teeth roots don’t allow building denture or bridgework tooth replacements. Unlike dentures or bridges which sit on top of your gums or attach to adjacent teeth, dental implants are surgically implanted in your jaw bone.
Our dentists use a medical-grade titanium implant fixture that, over time, actually fuses to the living bone cells of the jaw. This union forms a strong and durable anchor for your new teeth, meaning there’s no movement (which can sometimes happen with dentures) once the implant is fused.
Dental implants typically have three parts:
- The implant:A screw that serves as a root for your new teeth. This is what permanently attaches to your jaw.
- The abutment:A permanent, but removable by your doctor, connector that supports and holds a tooth or set of teeth.
- The crown or denture:This is the part of the tooth that you can see. It’s usually made of a natural looking porcelain or resin for durability and good looks.
You can use dental implants to replace a single tooth, multiple teeth or a full upper and/or lower set of teeth.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental Implants Can Look, Feel & Perform Like Your Real Teeth
A single dental implant can be flossed and brushed like a regular tooth. In fact you may forget its there!
For implant supported dentures, you will find that your teeth grip the implants tightly, giving you piece of mind throughout the day. No more embarrassing worries about chewing food and having your dentures come loose.
Dental Implants Restore Your Mouth & Preserve Your Facial Structure
The natural erosion of bone begins as soon as a tooth is lost in a process called resporption. If nothing is done to replace the missing roots the shrunken bone will cause a dip in the gums where one tooth is missing. If more than one tooth is missing the erosion of the bone can cause additional wrinkles and even a repositioning of your chin or upper lip over time, completely changing the way you look, giving a “sunken” appearance. Since dental implants integrate with the bone they provide a stimulus that keeps the jawbone from deteriorating, helping to preserve your facial structures.
Dental Implants Make Oral Hygiene Easy
Ongoing dental care for a single dental implant is much easier than that of a bridge, which requires the use of a floss threader for proper cleaning or dentures. If a bridge gets decay, you may need to replace the whole bridge. Dental implants cannot decay! While they do require proper hygiene for them to last, you clean a dental implant just like you would a natural tooth – regular brushing and flossing!
If you have any questions about dental implants and how we can help your smile, feel free to contact us today at 219-874-7224.
Types of Dental Implants
Single Dental Implant Crowns
What can you do when you are missing teeth in only one area? One potential option is a single dental implant. Dental implants can be used in almost any area of the mouth to replace missing teeth. They can be placed singly, to replace one missing tooth, or in pairs that form a bridge, to replace a series of missing teeth.
Implants have been used for decades to help patients have strong healthy smiles. They have been proven to be safe, and can be beautiful and long lasting. The process of getting a dental implant crown starts with having the implant placed. Once the implant is secure (a process which may involve healing time) an abutment is placed on the implant to secure the tooth colored. The crown is made of porcelain and supported by titanium. it is custom designed to look like a natural tooth, matching your existing teeth and smile. Once your crown is placed, it can be difficult for even a dentist to tell which tooth is false by looking at them!
Implant Retained Permanent Bridges
What can you do when you are missing teeth in only one area? One potential option is dental implants. Dental implants can be used in almost any area of the mouth to replace missing teeth. They can be placed singly, to replace one missing tooth, or in pairs that form a bridge, to replace a series of missing teeth.
Implants have been used for decades to help patients have strong healthy smiles. They have been proven to be safe, and can be both beautiful and long lasting. The process of getting dental implants starts with having the implants placed. Once the implants are secure, a process which may involve healing time, a bridge is placed on the implants. The bridge is made of porcelain and is supported by titanium. It is custom designed to look like natural teeth in a row, matching your existing teeth and smile. Once your bridge is placed, it can be difficult for even a dentist to tell which teeth are implants by looking at them!
With our CEREC scanner, we can often take a digital scan rather than taking an impression like the video states, which will make the process easier and faster
Implant Retained Complete Dentures
While a good fitting denture should stay in place without any adhesive, some patients would like a little extra grip on their dentures, without using any sticky goo to hold them in. Dental implants can often be placed to hold an existing denture firmly in place. The implants fit into an attachment placed inside the denture that can be changed or adjusted to allow for more or less tension to be used to hold the denture in place.
Implant Supported Complete Dentures (All on four)
Dental implants can be placed in such a way that a denture doesn’t need to cover your palate, rather, you have only the denture teeth and supporting gums connected to the implants. They can be made to come in and out for cleaning, or permanently screwed down so that only a dentist can remove them. This type of prosthesis typically is held in place by four implants and can look extremely natural!