What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are small, sturdy titanium posts that are surgically inserted into the jaw bone under your gum. Once in place, they serve as root structures for mounting replacement teeth that are both natural-looking and functional. After the bone grows around an implant, it can hold a crown, bridge or denture in place the same way a tooth root anchors a natural tooth. With proper care, which includes brushing, flossing and regular dental checkups – the same as with natural teeth – implants can last a lifetime.
A Dental Implant can be used to replace almost any missing tooth if there is enough bone at the site of the missing tooth. If there isn’t enough bone, there is a procedure that can be performed to assist in the regeneration of the lost bone so the dental implant can be placed safely.
The Dental Implant is surgically placed in the bone below the gumline. A temporary abutment (or post) may be placed on the dental implant through the healing process. A temporary crown is typically made to fill in the space of the missing tooth. When the healing is complete, the permanent abutment is attached to the dental implant.
The final step is the cementing of the permanent crown, made by the laboratory to match your other teeth. The tooth has been replaced without disturbing or damaging the healthy teeth next to it and bone loss has been eliminated.
Dental Implants can be used to replace several teeth, eliminating the need to grind down healthy adjacent teeth to serve as posts for traditional Partial & Bridge therapies.
The Dental Implants are used with a fixed, custom bridge and placed in the bone below the gumline. Like single tooth replacement, temporary abutments may be placed on the dental implants until the healing process is complete.
After healing, the permanent abutments are attached to the dental implants. They will hold a custom-made bridge that the dental laboratory will mold and match to your existing teeth.
In the final step, the custom bridge is cemented onto the permanent abutments. The teeth have been replaced without damaging the healthy teeth next to them, and bone loss has been eliminated.
An overview of the implant process
Implant treatment normally involves several stages that take place over a period of time from three to nine months.. Although there are various implant treatment methods, a typical process often includes:
Assessment and treatment planning: At initial consultation, following full discussion of all possible alternatives, your personal Malo Smile USA dentist will assess the feasibility of providing implant treatment. X-rays will be taken and models of the teeth prepared.
Implant placement: Implant placement is a relatively simple minor surgical procedure that can be performed under sterile conditions in a dental surgery. The treatment is performed under local anesthesia with sedation if required. If, during assessment, the underlying bone is deemed deficient, a number of options are available for bone regeneration. Bone regeneration is carried out prior to or at the same time as implant placement depending on requirements.
Integration period: Implants can take from six weeks to six months to fuse with the patient’s bone. During this integration period, temporary dentures or bridgework can be worn as appropriate. In some cases, temporary teeth can be fixed to the implants while they integrate in a process known as ‘immediate loading’.
The restorative phase: Once integrated, the implants can be brought into function with a variety of new teeth options (definitive restorations) ranging from a single crown, small or large bridge or a removable overdenture. Our Malo Smile USA dental technician who works closely with your personal Malo Smile USA dentist constructs these definitive restorations.
Maintenance: Following completion of implant treatment, the patient must regularly and thoroughly clean the new teeth (restorations) as instructed. A dental hygienist may also advise on care and maintenance of the restorations and natural teeth. Regular visits to your nearest Malo Smile USA dental office are essential so that the health of the soft tissue, bone levels and the integrity of the restoration can be reviewed.
Dental implants are suitable for most adults with good general health. They can only be used once the jawbone has stopped growing and so generally are not used with younger patients .Habits such as heavy drinking or smoking can increase the number of problems associated with initial healing and might be bad for the long-term health of gum and bone surrounding each implant.
However, each case is different and if you do have any medical problems then speak to our Implantologist at V SMILE DENTAL HAIR and SKIN CLINIC – it is only in some circumstances that health problems prevent the use of dental implants altogether.
For routine cases, from the time of implant placement to the time of placing the first tooth/teeth, treatment times can vary between six weeks and six months. The availability of better quality bone can be used to decrease treatment time, whilst more time and care must be taken with poorer bone, which can therefore extend treatment times beyond six months.
Once the implants and surrounding soft tissues are seen to be healthy and the new teeth comfortable and correctly adjusted, it is the quality of your personal attention to oral hygiene and willingness to attend regular maintenance reviews that will have most influence on how long they will last. When poorly cared for, implants will develop a covering of hard and soft deposits (calculus and plaque), which is very similar to that found on neglected natural teeth. Untreated, these deposits can lead to gum infection, bleeding, soreness and general discomfort. It could probably be said that implants will last as long as natural teeth.
Well-maintained implants placed into adequate bone can be expected to last for many years and possibly for your lifetime. However, just as you would expect conventional crowns, bridges and fillings to need occasional repairs or replacements, your implant-supported teeth may also have similar maintenance requirements over the years.
Dental implants can be used to replace one or several missing teeth. All the common forms of tooth replacement, such as bridges or dentures can be supported by dental implants. If you are missing just one natural tooth, then one implant is normally all that will be needed to provide a replacement. However, larger spaces created by two, three or more missing teeth do not necessarily need one implant per tooth; the exact number of implants will depend upon the quality and volume of bone at each potential implant site.
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