The Benefits and Importance of Dental Implants
Implants are the best solution for simulating the look, feel, and function of natural teeth. Dental implants do much more than replace missing teeth. They protect existing teeth by helping to preserve the surrounding bone structure, provide the ability to chew healthy food, and give patients the confidence to smile.
Dental implant placement can help generate bone growth in the area around the implant, which not only strengthens the bone and builds support but can also alleviate the sunken look that can occur with bone loss in the jaw. This process is known as osseointegration and is a significant benefit of implant placement because it can also help prevent future bone loss.
Although having a beautiful smile and the confidence that comes with it is important, there are also health reasons to have dental implants. Whether replacing one tooth or several, implants are an effective solution to restoring and maintaining dental health.
Guided Implant Placement
Using CBCT scans, virtual treatment planning, and highly specialized training, we are able to provide guided implant placement for our patients.
With this technique, specialized software is used to create custom surgical guides. These guides direct the exact location, angle, and depth of each implant placement. The use of the guide increases the accuracy, efficiency, safety, and predictability of the procedure.
Using a virtual 3-D model or a physical model, implant placements and the following restorative work can be simulated to create the ideal patient treatment plan. These virtual plans allow the doctor to take multiple aspects of implant placement and restoration into consideration, resulting in optimal esthetics, function, and longevity for the patient’s final restoration. Working with a 3-D model also allows the patient to better understand the procedures and visualize the end result.
Types of Implants
Once a tooth is lost, several things begin to happen that are not immediately noticeable to a patient and which can have a significant negative impact effect on both health and appearance.
Tooth roots help hold teeth in place, but they are also critical in maintaining health in the surrounding gums and supporting bone structures. Bone loss in the jawbone is one significant problem that naturally occurs once a tooth is lost. This bone loss can compromise the integrity of neighboring tooth roots and tooth stability, and it is also a large part of what causes the “sunken” look that is seen in people who have lost several or all of their teeth. It is the reason patients who wear dentures find that over time their dentures are harder and harder to fit and keep in place.
Single Tooth Dental Implants
Dental implants replace tooth roots in the mouth. Implants provide a strong foundation for fixed or removable replacement teeth and can aid in the prevention of bone loss in the jaw.
An implant-supported bridge is a restorative solution for spaces where three or more adjacent teeth are missing. This restoration typically requires two implants to support the porcelain bridge. The bridge provides a functional and esthetic replacement for a patient’s natural teeth.
For patients who are missing many or all of their teeth, implant-supported dentures may be an alternative to traditional dentures. This solution requires the placement of two or more implants. In order to replace a full arch denture, a minimum of four implants is generally recommended. Eligibility for this solution is dependent upon a number of factors, with jaw bone density being one of the most significant determining factors.
Traditional dentures rely on an acrylic base that sits directly on the gums, held in place by a paste or adhesive. Using implants as supports for dentures allows for a smaller and more comfortable base and less shifting of the prosthesis during use.
Implants can support both full and partial dentures as well as both fixed and removable dentures. If a removable denture is selected, the denture will “snap” onto the implant rather than requiring the use of denture paste or adhesives.
Full Arch with Only 4 Implants
This procedure is a unique implant solution that allows patients with a completely edentulous (toothless) upper or lower arch to replace all of the teeth in that arch using only four implants as anchors.
Mini Dental Implants
There are times when a full-size implant is not a viable option, and in certain cases, an MDI may be a solution. Small spaces or inadequate bone mass in the jaw may prevent the use of traditional implants. Mini Dental Implants are similar to regular implants but, as the name suggests, are significantly smaller in diameter.