A dental implant is a threaded metal cylinder that replaces the root of a missing tooth. An artificial tooth (crown) is placed on an abutment on the dental implant, giving you the look of a real tooth.
Are you a candidate for dental implant surgery?
Dental implants aren't the same as artificial replacement teeth. Dental implants are the actual threaded metal cylinders that serve as the roots of missing teeth. The implant, sometimes called a post or cylinder, is surgically implanted in the jawbone beneath the gum tissue. An abutment, or extension, is attached on top of the metal cylinder. A realistic-looking artificial tooth (crown) is attached to the abutment, creating a three-piece device that completes your smile. You may have one tooth replaced with dental implant surgery or many.
In general, dental implants may be right for you if you have:
- One or more missing teeth
- A jawbone that has reached full growth
- Adequate bone to secure the implants
- A bone grafting procedure
- Healthy oral tissues
- A resistance to wearing dentures
- Interest in improving your speech
Please ask us for details on your next visit to see if dental implant surgery is for you.
Missing Teeth & What To Do About It
Overall facial appearance is one of the first things people think about when they are missing teeth, especially if the missing teeth are part of their smile. Sometimes people appear to be unhappy and even older than they are when they are missing teeth. This is because the skin and lips around their teeth have sagged due to lack of support. Not having teeth may cause people to lose self confidence and stop smiling altogether. But the effects can go much deeper than this.
If the teeth that are missing happen to be molars, eating and chewing could also be a problem. Then there is a weakening of the other teeth that occurs because you are using less teeth to eat. This could then lead to nutritional problems resulting from being unable to chew foods that are important for your diet.
These reasons should be substantial enough to have missing teeth replaced but there are other more important issues that are unseen.
Having teeth maintains the density of bone that supports your teeth. When a tooth is lost it plays a direct role in the width, height and mass of the bone. When there is a decrease in bone density, it causes the gum tissue to decrease as well. These factors could make chewing and speaking become even more difficult.
When the bone begins to deteriorate it may give a hollow look to the cheeks. Extreme bone loss could cause more susceptibility to jaw fractures. When gum tissue starts shrinking and pulls back, it can weaken the teeth in close proximity to the missing tooth until these teeth collapse.
Bite collapse is also at risk when some of the back teeth are missing. Missing teeth in the back of the mouth can cause the front teeth to move forward.
To avoid teeth drifting, space left behind from missing teeth needs to be filled. If the space is not filled, the teeth in close proximity will migrate and grow in an irregular manner to the open spaces left behind by the missing teeth. This results in crooked teeth that are difficult to clean, and can cause further tooth loss as an outcome.
To restore your smile and halt bone loss, dental implants are your best option. Dental implants function, feel, and look like real teeth. They are made of strong materials that have the amazing ability to fuse with your existing bone. Staying up on your dental care by brushing, flossing and keeping your regular dental check-ups is important to avoid tooth decay and tooth loss not to mention the loss of your self confidence.
Types of Dental Implants
Everyone deserves to have a winning smile, so when it comes to flashing your teeth you want them to look their best. Unfortunately, not all people have perfect teeth, but the good news is that there is a remedy: dental implants. Dental implants permanently give you a flawless set of teeth with a gorgeous smile. The following information from Dr. Sato in Dayton, OH should give you an idea as to whether dental implants are right for you or not.
If you have previously been interested in dental implants, or are just starting to consider implants, it is critical to know some key information regarding them. Dr. Sato, and dentists everywhere, will tell you that your gums and jaw bone have to be in good enough health to support the procedure. This is due to the fact that your implants will be anchored under your gums and on top of, or in, your jaw bone.
In addition to knowing the health and wellness of your gums, you should know about both options available when it comes to dental implants.
The first kind of implant is endosteal. Endosteal, or in the bone, use screws or blades to fasten into your jaw bone. Each of these endosteal implants will be the base for several teeth. This kind of implant is best for those who have dentures.
The second kind of implant is subperiosteal. If you do not have adequate jaw bone to support endosteal, you should consider subperiosteal. This type of denture utilizes metal wires and your gums to support dentures.
Who Is Not A Candidate For Implants?
People who are considering dental implants need to have healthy gums and sufficient jaw bone mass for the procedure to be a success. Consulting with Dr. Sato is your best option in order to learn whether you are a candidate for the procedure or not. Most people are suited for dental implants, but those who may not, fall under the following categories:
- People who are underage or have not stopped growing.
- Women who are pregnant.
- Persons who smoke heavily - heavy smoking retards the healing process, making the procedure a difficult one. People who take drugs or ingest alcohol are less likely to give the care and attention to the implants necessary for a successful procedure.
- People with chronic ailments such as diabetes, hemophilia, immune deficiencies, connective-tissue disease or those who have been exposed to high doses of radiation in the head and neck area. A complete evaluation by your dentist will determine whether implants are right for you or not.
Implant therapy is performed by an oral surgeon, such as a periodontist, who also works with a dentist. The patient will be X-rayed or receive a scan, which will allow the dental team to inspect the condition of their sinuses, nerves and jawbone mass. After the evaluation, the dentist will let you know which option is best for you and prepare a treatment plan so the procedure is a success.
The initial procedure is just the first step. After the screws have been placed in the jaw there is a healing period of about a month or more. After several checkups, the teeth are then placed on the embedded screws. The entire process takes about six months, or possibly more, after which the patient must make routine visits to the dentist to ensure the procedure was successful.
Along with your regular check ups, brushing, flossing, and using mouth wash will be critical in keeping your implants and new teeth in good health.