Dental Implants: Effectively Replacing Your Missing Teeth
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are the most realistic looking and healthiest way to replace your missing teeth. Implants are small rods of titanium that resemble a screw and when inserted into your jaw attach to replace missing teeth. They are the most stable restoration option available and create a strong and beautiful smile while also functioning like a natural tooth.
After inserting implants, they immediately begin to merge with the bone in your jaw and act as the roots of your teeth. Implants keep your jaw healthy, act as replacement roots for your teeth and ensure that you don’t fall victim to bone and gum tissue loss.
Why do I need to replace missing teeth?
When you lose teeth, the roots of those teeth go along with them. When you lose the roots of your teeth, the bone and gum tissue that once surrounded that tooth no longer support anything. Since bone and gum tissue no longer have a tooth to support they will begin to deteriorate. As the tissue deteriorates, it will not only affect your oral health but it will also cause your jaw to shrink.
Jaw shrinking not only affects your oral health but will have a great influence on your appearance because it causes wrinkles to show up on your face and make you look older than you really are. Implants provide something for the surrounding tissue to support and a permanent replacement for the missing tooth root. Therefore, greatly improving your oral health and saving your jaw.
Dental Implant Candidates
Most patients, regardless of age, are good candidates for dental implants to replace missing teeth. However, patients that have been missing teeth for a long period of time may not be candidates. If the jaw deterioration is severe patients will need to resolve that issue, sometimes with a bone graft, before they can receive implants. Dr. Das and the staff at Clear Lake Dental Care can discuss your options during your consultation.
Dr. Das talks about candiates for dental implants.
Benefits of Dental Implants
The most amazing thing that dental implants do is replace the roots of your teeth to ensure that gum tissue and bone don’t deteriorate. The dental implants effectively take the place of the roots that were lost along with your natural teeth. Once the implant is in place, we can attach your replacement teeth to them and give you a perfectly beautiful and functional smile.
Dr. Das talks about the benefits of dental implants.
Types of Dental Implants
Teeth in a Day
Teeth in a Day, or immediate implants, are a quick and effective way to get replacement teeth in your mouth and working as quickly as possible. This procedure is so convenient because it only takes one day for Dr. Das to place both implants and replacement teeth in your mouth. These replacement teeth can be crowns, bridges, or dentures. You will walk out of our office with a smile on your face.
Our permanent teeth replacement system, known as All-on-Four dental implants involves placing four implants in your jaw. These four implants, two in the front and two angled in the back, anchor to replacement teeth. This makes for a healthy, secure smile. Not only does this option provide you with functional replacement teeth, but it will make sure that you don’t suffer from the loss of gum tissue and bone surrounding your teeth.
How do I care for my Implants?
Implants behave exactly like your natural teeth and their care is the same as well. Simple daily brushing and flossing is all that is required to keep your new smile looking great.
What is the process of placing Dental Implants?
In most cases, the dentists at Clear Lake Dental Care can place your implants and the artificial teeth atop them in the same day. Formerly, the titanium implant needed months for the bone to grow around the implant. First, we perform an examination of your current condition. We may have to pull badly decayed remaining teeth or ascertain how much bone loss has occurred. This step will include x-rays and a CT scan to give Dr. Das, Dr. Darcey, or Dr. Pham the precise position for your implants. Clear Lake Dental Care uses a computer simulation to map out the plan for your mouth.
To start the placement procedure we will make a tiny incision in your gums and insert the implant(s). The screw-shaped titanium implant will anchor the false tooth above. Next, we attach a small metal post, an abutment, to the implant. The final step is to place the temporary acrylic tooth onto the abutment. This temporary tooth will be in place while your jawbone grows around and accepts the titanium implant. During this process, you will eat a soft diet to avoid placing stress on the implant. Once your jawbone has fully integrated the titanium implant, a process that usually takes 6-8 weeks, you return to our office and we remove the temporary teeth and replace them with crowns. Now, you can eat a regular diet and enjoy your beautiful new smile.
How long will my Implants last?
Dental implants often last for the remainder of a patient’s life. If you have a full-arch prosthetic with a complete set of false teeth, it won’t last as long as individual implants, but replacing it is a simple process.
When you lose a tooth, there will be a socket left in its place. This leaves your oral health in danger because food and other sediments can become trapped in your empty socket and can cause the socket to become infected. Patients can receive a ridge augmentation to fill the socket with bone-substitute material and give your gumline a natural look again. You will no longer be in danger of having food and other sediment stuck inside of gaps, and the new bone will be able to support a tooth replacement.
In the case that your sinus cavity is too close to your upper jaw, we can perform a sinus lift. To space the sinus cavity and upper jaw apart, we can add bone to your upper jaw and raise the sinus cavity to make room for this extra bone. This is often done to prepare a patient to have dental implants.
If your oral health has been affected to the point where you have lost bone that once surrounded your teeth, you may need a bone graft to restore your bone. A bone graft is a procedure that will give you back the bone that you’ve lost. You will need this bone not only to keep your smile looking attractive but also to have implants placed. However, this procedure is rarely necessary now as we can place implants at a 45° angle to mitigate the need for bone grafting.
Bridges vs Implants
Whether you’re replacing a single tooth or all of your teeth, Dr. Das, Dr. Darcey, and Dr. Pham believe dental implants are far and beyond the superior option. Fixed bridges are an alternative, but they don’t have the lifespan of implants.
Are Dentures an alternative to Implants?
Although dentures are an alternative, they don’t protect your jawbone from deterioration. Instead, they actually accelerate the process. Additionally, dentures do not allow patients to eat all the foods that they love. Implants function and have the strength of natural teeth, allowing patients to enjoy all their favorite foods.
Dr. Das speaks about how implants can be the solution for your denture issues.