Implant Dentistry: Why Should I Consider Implants?
Implant dentistry provides permanent options beyond traditional bridges or dentures for many people with broken or missing teeth. Whether tooth loss is due to decay or injury, dental implants can restore smiles and ease the pain often associated with dentures. Dr. S. Donovan Essen is the Palm City Dentist to see if you have questions about implant dentistry.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are basically prosthetic teeth. Technically, the implant is a titanium rod, or post, that is surgically placed in the jawbone that is ultimately topped with a porcelain crown. Since implants are stand-alone, surrounding natural teeth remain intact during single and bridge implant procedures.
- Single Implants replace individual teeth.
- Fixed Bridges offer multi-tooth replacement options for two or more adjacent teeth.
- Full Dentures that attach to strategically placed implants hold strong and prevent the slippage and discomfort associated with traditional dentures.
Is Everyone a Candidate for Implant Dentistry?
While dental implants offer relief for many people, some may not be candidates for this treatment option. Healthy gums, adequate bone density, and bone height are essential. In some cases, a bone graft can be performed to add height or width to the jawbone. If upper jawbone height is insufficient, or if the sinuses will be negatively impacted, a sinus lift may be an option.
Patients with certain medical issues may not be candidates for implants, so it is vital that patients provide a thorough medical history. Brittle diabetes and liver disease prevent patients from being implant candidates. Patients with severe bleeding disorders must steer clear of implant surgery due to possible complications.
What Does the Implant Process Involve?
Once the patient’s medical history indicates candidacy, an oral exam is next. Dr. Essen will examine overall oral health, bone quantity and quality, and opposing dentition. Panoramic and 3D radiographs (x-rays) allow the development of a precise, individualized treatment plan.
With a plan in place, the gums and jawbone are prepared for the implant. A biocompatible titanium rod is screwed into the jawbone. Osseointegration describes the process by which the rod fuses with the bone to create an anchor that is often stronger than natural teeth roots. It may take from three to eight months for full integration.
Once healing is complete, the abutment is added to the titanium post. A crown that matches the patient’s natural teeth is then cemented in place.
Ongoing Care for Dental Implants
Dental implants should be treated like natural teeth. Brush at least twice a day and floss once to help prevent gingivitis and bone loss. Continue to visit Dr. Essen and his team at Essen Dentistry twice a year for regular cleanings and check-ups. Follow us on Facebook for dental news and tips for a healthy smile.