What Are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is a titanium metal replacement for a root of a tooth that is surgically implanted in the jawbone. As the body heals for approximately two to six months after the surgery, the bone around the implant fuses to the implant through a process called osseointegration. After the healing phase is complete, the implants are used to anchor crowns, bridges, or dentures. Dental implants are the most natural replacement for a missing tooth. For more information call us at (630) 226-1100.
If you have lost a tooth, is it best to replace it with a dental implant?
Before you decide a course of action, we should consider answering these simple questions: What is a dental implant?
What is the dental implant process like?
How many dental implants should be placed?
Who should you see about getting dental implants?
Are there different types of dental implants?
When you are more knowledgeable about your implant treatment, you will be able to have
more input to give us and better your chances of a successful treatment outcome with Radiant Dental.
Dental Implant Process
At Radiant Dental we begin with a thorough evaluation of the patient’s medical and dental history, and a full clinical examination of the entire mouth and missing tooth area. The clinical exam should also include specific X-rays.
After assessing the patient, a comprehensive treatment plan can be devised. From that point, implants are surgically placed in the jawbone under local anesthesia.
The length of the healing time is based on the quality and quantity of bone, as well as the type of implant placed. After adequate healing is allowed to occur, the implant can be used to support a crown, bridge, or denture.
Types Of Dental Implants
Yes, several types are available. The American Dental Association considers both the endosteal and the subperiosteal implants to be acceptable. An important factor for selection is to determine whether your jawbone can adequately support the implant. Most dental implants placed today are endosteal root form fixtures (similar to a man-made).
Find An Implant Dentist
When getting dental implants, you should select a dentist or dental team with in-depth knowledge and prior experience with all aspects of the treatment.
It is also important to know that implant treatment consists of two components: a surgical phase and a restorative phase.
Traditionally, a dental surgeon, like an oral surgeon or a periodontist, performs the surgical component. A general dentist, or prosthodontist and laboratory technician performs the restorative component. However, as implant dentistry has become more sophisticated, sometimes a dentist who specializes in restorative dentistry conducts the entire procedure.
Choose dental implants to replace a missing tooth
Losing a tooth by accident or by extraction is not the end of the matter. When a tooth is missing, the resulting gap will allow nearby teeth to tilt or drift from their normal position, and the teeth above the gap will move downward.
Aside from the obvious cosmetic problem, the changed positions of these teeth can lead to severe bite problems causing jaw pain and headaches.
Missing teeth should be replaced to keep other teeth in their normal position. This can be done with a fixed bridge or a dental implant. Both of these treatments offer a good functional and cosmetic result.
Replacement of missing teeth with dental implants
“Well, you know Doc, it’s just a back tooth. No one will see it so I’ll just get rid of it. It’s not going to make a difference.” Unfortunately we hear this type of comment at Radiant Dental more often than you would think.
The plain truth is that it will make a difference. At Radiant Dental we know the loss of just a single tooth can set a course that can destroy an entire mouth. “Well, if that’s true, tell me more. I sure don’t want to lose the front ones that I smile with.”
We often answer with an explanation that teeth will drift and tip into a space that is created by missing teeth. Just like two gears of a car that are not properly aligned, pretty soon you’ve got a whole lot of problems.
“Well, I don’t like that. What can I do?” If it sounds like I’ve heard this conversation a few times, you’re right. If I’m going to keep a patient happy, I need to provide options at this point.
One of the options we often discuss at Radiant Dental would be a dental implant. This is the replacement of a tooth with a false root that is surgically placed. We then carefully construct a dental crown to replace the missing tooth, to prevent teeth from shifting and thereby causing further tooth loss.
Number of dental implants recommended?
This is a question that should be determined during the treatment plan. A good rule-of- thumb is to place one implant for each tooth replaced.
Other decisive factors for the number of implants needed for success is the quality and quantity of the patient’s bone. Equally as important are the existing anatomy of the bone and the financial resources of the patient. (At Radiant Dental we try not to let money get in the way of good dentistry.)
Placing enough implants to restore teeth is vitally important to the long-term success of the restoration. Simply stated, the most costly mistake is to have an implant fail because not enough implants are placed to support the teeth. If the number of implants is limited due to financial constraints of the patient, then the implant treatment should be avoided or the type of restoration must be altered.
Technology facts concerning dental implants
How long has dental implant technology been available and what is the success rate?
The technology has been around for decades. In fact, some patients have had dental implants for more than 40 years.
Hundreds of thousands of dental implants have been inserted with more than a 90% success rate. All other metal implants in the body (including hips and knees) are the result of the dental implant technology.
Single missing tooth solution
What can be done for a single missing tooth?
In the case of a single missing tooth, a dental implant can be placed in the jawbone area of the missing tooth. The implant will serve as a replacement for a tooth root and an individual crown. The total apparatus is referred to as a single-tooth implant crown.
Once in place, the implant crown will look, feel, and function like a natural tooth. They are cleaned and flossed just like natural teeth, and best of all, they do not require any special tools to clean around them like bridges. Although dental implants will not decay, they require impeccable oral hygiene.