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A revolutionary solution for restoration of missing teeth, dental implants offer multiple options to replace a single tooth, multiple teeth, or to secure a denture.
Dental Implants are artificial tooth replacements that were first developed half a century ago by a Swedish scientist named Per-Ingvar Branemark. Implants arose from the dental patient’s need to secure loose-fitting dentures.
Since the advent of the implant, engineering and enhancements to the implant have enabled dentists to expand the implant’s usefulness, including the replacement of missing or lost teeth. Today, implant techniques provide a wide range of tooth replacement solutions including:
- Single Tooth Replacement
- Anterior Replacement
- Posterior Replacement
- Full Upper Replacement
Types of Implants
There are three main types of implants:
- The root implant
- The plate form implant
- The subperiosteal implant
How Implants Work
The root implant—by far the most popular—is the most effective because it mirrors the size and shape of a patient’s natural tooth and is often as strong as the patient’s original tooth. The implant or artificial root is placed into the jawbone under local anesthesia, then allowed to heal and integrate with the bone.
Once the healing process is completed and the jawbone has attached to the implant, the patient returns to our office to restore the implant with a crown, bridge or denture to achieve the look and function of a natural tooth. This process generally takes anywhere from 3 to 8 months.
The plate form implant is ideal in situations where the jawbone is not wide enough to properly support a root implant. Unlike the root implant, the plate form implant is long and thin, and anchors into thin jawbones. It is inserted the same way as a root implant. In certain cases, the plate form implant is immediately fitted with a restoration without waiting for the healing process to run its course.
The subperiosteal implant is used when the jawbone has receded to the point where it can no longer support a permanent implant. These implants are placed over the jaw, rather than attempting to integrate an implant into the jawbone, as with the root implant.
Post Implant Care
Although proper oral hygiene is always recommended for maintaining good dental health, it is especially important when a patient has received a dental implant. Bacteria can attack sensitive areas in the mouth when teeth and gums are not properly cleaned, thus causing periodontal (gum) disease, which can lead to receding of bone levels in the jaw. Bone recession will weaken implants and eventually make it necessary for the implant to be removed.
Dental implants can last for decades when given proper care. We recommend that our dental implant patients visit our office at least twice a year to keep their implants and their smile healthy.
Are you missing teeth or struggling with loose dentures?
Contact Us to learn more about the solutions that Dental Implants have to offer!