What are Dental Implants?
Are you self conscious about a missing tooth, or even having difficulties chewing because of missing teeth? Dental implants are the next best thing to natural teeth and currently have a 95% success rate, which is the highest success rate of any other tooth replacement option. You may be familiar with a bridge or partial. Dental implants differ in the fact that no other tooth is affected. To fabricate a bridge, the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth are reduced in size to hold a crown, which assists in replacing the missing tooth. A partial is supported by the adjacent teeth to secure it. A dental implant acts as a single natural tooth. The implant is a titanium screw placed in the bone that acts as the root of the tooth. This titanium can never obtain a cavity, and this is why it is one of the best options in dentistry for tooth replacement. Tooth loss is one of the most common causes of facial structure changes. These bones are ultimately supported by our teeth. Tooth loss causes facial bones to shrink from lack of stimulation. This, over time, will cause many facial changes, and in return cause aging. Since the dental implant acts as the root of the tooth, it supports facial bones, just like natural teeth.
How does a dental implant work, and is the procedure painful?
A dental implant is titanium, and resembles a screw. The great thing about titanium is that bone loves it. The dental implant is placed into the bone, and must remain untouched for four to six months. During this period, the bone attaches or integrates to the implant to create a stable environment for the future restoration. The day of implant placement, a healing abutment is placed over the implant until full integration has occurred. The healing abutment is a small screw that covers the implant for the duration of healing. This entire procedure is done with local anesthesia and most have minimal to no post op discomfort.
Are you missing one tooth, or an entire dentition?
(Implant assisted dentures.)
Dental implants are one of the top options for tooth replacement in dentistry today. A patient can easily have one tooth replaced, or use implants to assist a denture, for greater stability. So many people who have conventional dentures choose not to wear them for the simple fact that they don’t stay in place. Natural teeth can absorb a biting pressure of around 500 lbs. per square inch, where a traditional denture can absorb no more than 50 lbs. per square inch. Implant assisted dentures can regain almost all of the natural biting pressure, which allows for proper grinding and tearing of food. Another great aspect of implant assisted dentures is that they do not cover the pallet, like traditional dentures. This allows for proper speech and taste, and also eliminates the need for adhesives. Implant assisted dentures actually snap, or engage, into the implants for great support. The patient needs two to four implants per arch, to support an implant denture. Just like the single implant, multiple implants that are placed to assist a denture, require only local anesthesia and have minimal to no post op discomfort.
What other options do I have with dental implants?
(Implant bridge, and full arch screw retained hybrid bridge.)
An implant bridge is another superior option that resembles a traditional bridge with implant crowns as the abutment teeth. Two implants are needed for an implant bridge so a pontic, or false tooth, can be bridged between them. Here at Dental Associates of Easley, we also offer implant 'full arch screw retained crown and bridgework' as a hybrid. This is a non removable option that is most like natural teeth, with excellent esthetics and function. A custom acrylic framework is fabricated with all porcelain teeth, which then screws into each implant. This framework being a fixed appliance appliance allows it to function more like natural teeth, but it can also be a removable restoration in case of a problem around an implant. The hybrid implant bridge is similar to the implant assisted denture in that it doesn’t cover the palate; and therefore, does not affect speech or taste. The reason the hybrid stands out against the implant assisted denture is because of the natural esthetics offered by the porcelain teeth, and it being a fixed restoration.
To sum it up, dental implants are a superior option in tooth replacement. Call us today to find out which dental implant option would best suit your needs. Your dental implant could be just one appointment away!