Like many people who have lost teeth, you probably realize how hard it is to duplicate the performance and appearance of your own natural, healthy teeth. However, today’s dental implants can provide you with artificial teeth that look amazingly natural and feel fully secure. Whether you currently have a full or partial denture or have recently lost a tooth, dental implants may be a good option for you.
Implants are used to replace missing teeth with crowns instead of a fixed bridge or a removable partial denture. Whether it’s one missing tooth or several that need replacing, implants create a more secure, longer-lasting, esthetically pleasing solution for missing teeth. Implants are also used to securely attach full dentures directly to the jaw, eliminating the need for adhesives that often fail, causing dentures to loosen. The full dentures will be quickly and easily removable for cleaning but will remain securely attached to the jaw until they are manually removed.
There are three components of an implant, the anchor (which is surgically imbedded into the bone), the post (to which the tooth attaches) and the actual artificial tooth. Several steps are usually required in placing implants. Depending on the type of implant, these steps may vary. A thorough evaluation must be made which includes a clinical examination and a careful review of your dental and medical history. During the dental examination, we will check the condition of your mouth, the supporting bone in your jaws and the way your upper & lower teeth fit together. CT-scan X-rays will be taken and a determination will be made as to whether you are a good candidate for implants. In either case, thoughtful recommendations regarding optional treatments will be offered and discussed.
Implants can have a dramatic effect on your lifestyle. Whether it’s looking better and feeling better about yourself, becoming more comfortable in social environments, or improving your ability to chew, taste and swallow your food, returning your mouth to optimum health by replacing missing teeth can be a life-changing step. At Arlington Dental, we have all the means by which to make this a comfortable, stress-free, expedient and successful reality for you.
IMPLANT SUPPORTED DENTURES
Implants are also used to securely attach full dentures directly to the jaw, eliminating the need for adhesives that often fail, causing dentures to loosen. Implant supported dentures can be worn by anyone who doesn't have any teeth in their jaw (a current denture wearer), but has enough bone in their jaw to support dental implants.
While Implant-supported dentures usually are made for the lower jaw (because regular dentures tend to be less stable there), you can receive an implant-supported denture in either the upper jaw, lower jaw, or both. Implant-supported dentures are removed daily to clean, and as with regular dentures, you should not sleep with the implant-supported dentures at night.
While some people prefer to have permanent crowns and bridgework in their mouths that can't be removed, others will be more comfortable with an implant-supported denture that snaps firmly onto and off of the supporting implants. Together, we will consider your lifestyle, along with all of your particular needs and preferences when suggesting fixed or removable denture options.
Q: Are dental implants safe ?
A: 90% of today's implants can be expected to last for at least 15 years, and dental health experts are continually making improvements in the materials and surgery techniques involved in the implant procedure. These advancements continue to insure the safety and viability of implants to an extremely high degree.
Q: How many teeth must be missing before I need an implant?
A: Whether missing one tooth or multiple teeth, implants can be used to replace as many teeth as you wish to.
Q: Are implants always an option for missing teeth replacement?
A: Most of the time, yes. Your dentist will perform some tests to specifically determine the likelihood of a successful outcome prior to treatment. He will determine the amount of healthy jawbone that is available as well as whether bone grafting, if needed, will be effective. Even in the event that your jaw bone is in poor health, the dental implants are still an option.
Q: Is implant surgery painful?
A: The process of placing dental implants is considered a minor surgery. The patient will be given an ample dose local anesthetic or may receive IV Sedation to avoid any discomfort during the surgery. Following the procedure, the patient can expect to experience some moderate discomfort due to the sutures in the gum as well as the natural healing process for up to a week. This discomfort is most often controlled through the use of various over-the-counter pain medications and/or a medication prescribed by your dentist.
Q: Are the implants and the teeth installed at the same time?
A: Unfortunately, the answer is no. The implant base needs three months or so to assimilate into the lower jaw bone itself and up to five months when placed in the upper jaw. In the meantime, If you are just having one or a few teeth installed, the dentist will build functional temporary restorations to be used during the waiting period. If you are having all of your teeth replaced with implants, and you presently use dentures, you will be able to continue wearing them following some post-surgery adjustments.
Q: How long do dental implants take to complete?
A: The time it takes to complete the implant process will vary depending on how many implants are being placed, the condition of the patients existing teeth and gums, and importantly, upon the availability of healthy bone. Any one of these factors could extend the time required to complete the treatment. Following the initial surgery, the patient will heal for about two months before returning for a post-operative exam. Within three to six months, the patient will return and we will complete the process by installing crowns on the implanted base. Again, the length of the procedure will depend on the condition of the patient and the amount and scope of the work required. Your dentist can be more specific after he’s examined the patient and provide a more accurate time estimate.
Q: Are dental implants difficult to keep clean?
A: Although it is not difficult to keep dental implants clean, there are some areas that may require a little bit of practice to clean properly. When the implant procedure has been completed, Our dental staff health will provide complete instructions on how to maintain optimum oral health from that point forward. Once these instructions are put into practice, any new techniques required will become second nature, just like brushing one’s teeth .
Q: Can I still get gum disease after having implants?
A: Dental implants are placed into healthy gum tissue. If the patient takes proper care of their teeth properly by thoroughly cleaning them on a regular basis and having regular check-ups and cleanings, healthy gums can be maintained indefinitely.
Q: Will I be able to take my teeth out if they are attached to implants?
A: No. Only dentures that are attached (clipped) to implants can be removed.
Q: Will people know I have implants? Will they see them?
A: During the course of moving your mouth and lips normally, your dental implants will not be detectable. They will however, need to be seen by you at certain angles in order to clean them properly. These are not angles that will allow your implants be seen during normal movement.
Q: Do I need to have one implant for each missing tooth?
A: Each implant can support two teeth, so the answer is no. In most cases, no more than six implants would be needed to replace all of the teeth in one jaw, supporting up to 12 teeth. If you are only having one tooth replaced then one implant will need to be installed.
Q: What if I experience a facial injury and one of my implants breaks?
A: Dental implants are subject to damage just like regular teeth. However, If the area where the dental implant is anchored into the jawbone is damaged, additional surgery may be required to facilitate repair.
Q: What if the implant does not properly grow into my jaw bone?
A: It is rare that an implant does not bond properly with the bone. In the unlikely event this occurs, the implant will need to be removed, and the area allowed to heal before making another attempt to insert the implant into the bone. At that point your dentist can place another implant or opt to make a bridge for that space that can be attached to implants that have properly bonded with the bone.