Dental implants are a great way to replace missing teeth and also provide a fixed solution to having removable partial or complete dentures. Implants provide excellent support and stability for these dental appliances.
Dental implants are artificial roots and teeth (usually titanium) that are surgically placed into the upper or lower jaw bone . The teeth attached to implants are very natural looking and often enhance or restore a patient’s smile!
Dental implants are very strong, stable, and durable and will last many years, but on occasion, they will have to be re-tightened or replaced due to normal wear.
Reasons for dental implants:
Replace one or more missing teeth without affecting adjacent teeth
Resolve joint pain or bite problems caused by teeth shifting into missing tooth space
Restore a patient’s confident smile
Restore chewing, speech, and digestion
Restore or enhance facial tissues
Support a bridge or denture, making them more secure and comfortable
What does getting dental implants involve?
The process of getting implants requires a number of visits over several months.
X-rays and digital scans (digital impressions) are taken of the jaw and teeth to determine bone, gum tissue, and spacing available for an implant. While the area is numb, the implant will be surgically placed into the bone and allowed to heal and integrate itself onto the bone for up to six months. Depending on the type of implant, a second surgery may be required in order to place the “post” that will hold the artificial tooth in place. With other implants the post and anchor are already attached and placed at the same time.
After the implant has been allowed to heal for 4-6 months to osseointegrate with the surrounding bone, the surgeon will provide clearance for the final restoration. You will then return to Theisen Dental for a digital scan of your implant and mouth. This scan will be used by the dental lab to fabricate a custom titanium abutment and porcelain crown.
There are 2 ways to secure your new crown to the abutment:
1- Screw retained: The abutment/crown are one piece and screwed into the implant. The screw access is then filled in with a tooth colored composite resin to match your new crown.
2- Cement retained: The abutment and crown are separate parts. First the abutment is screwed into the implant, then the crown is cemented on top of the abutment.
Screw retained versus cement retained is determined by tooth location, amount of space, and the patient's dentition and oral habits.
With most of our implant patients, we recommend a night time splint to help protect your implant and surrounding dentition.
You will receive care instructions when your treatment is completed. Good oral hygiene, eating habits, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new implant.