Dental Implants

For people who are missing teeth due to injury, tooth decay, or disease, dental implants can help restore their smile and self-confidence.

Dental implants are artificial teeth that fill in the gaps left behind by missing or damaged teeth. They come in the form of metal posts that a dentist will surgically place in the jawbone beneath the gums. These posts are usually made of titanium, but can also be made out of other materials.

The posts serve as roots where the dentist can then mount the replacement teeth. An advantage of dental implants is that no other surrounding teeth need to grinded down or affected in order for the dental implants to be placed. But in order for the implants to be placed properly and be effective, a person must have healthy gums and adequate bone to support the implant.

At Floss, we will carefully exam you and determine whether you are a candidate for dental implants. If you are, we will then discuss which type is best suited for you.

This type of dental implant is used in people missing one tooth or more. Once the post is put in, an abutment is attached using a screw. This is what will eventually connect the implant to the artificial tooth. It’s cut down and shaped like a tooth so it can later fit the crown which serves as the actual artificial tooth. It is usually made from porcelain that is fused to a metal alloy, but can also be made of other materials.

Due to the number of steps that is required to complete the dental implant and the multiple visits required, the entire process will take at least five months. It can take longer depending how long it takes for the patient to heal.

When more than one consecutive tooth is missing, an all-on dental implant system may be used. With this process, usually four implant posts are inserted into the jawbone. Instead of just one crown being put in, a patient receives a whole set of teeth. This gives the patient an entirely new set of teeth with a bright smile.

For most patients, no bone grafting is required, making the process shorter than single tooth replacement dental implants. Typically, the all-on dental implants can be inserted in a few hours, allowing the patient to go home with a new smile the same day!

Unlike dentures, these implants stay inside the mouth, making them more comfortable and practical for patients.

Unlike regular dentures, implant supported dentures are supported by and attached to implants. Standard dentures simply rest on the gums and stick to them with a denture adhesive.

A patient may be a candidate for implant supported dentures when they have enough bone in the jaw to support the implants but don’t have any teeth in the jaw. Typically they are used to replace the lower set of teeth.

The length of time it takes to have implant supported dentures completely installed can vary. Many times it can take up to five months or more, especially if bone grafting is needed.

If you’re not already wearing standard dentures, you will typically get a pair to wear temporarily until your implant supported dentures are ready.

Although they are supported by implants, it is recommended that this type of denture is removed daily so that the gums can be cleaned. As with regular dentures, it is not recommended you sleep with implant supported dentures.

Other patients are better candidates for hybrid dentures. These are what results when you combine the characteristics of a fixed bridge with traditional dentures. Hybrid dentures allow a patient to receive a stable prosthetic replacement for teeth.

With hybrid dentures, four or more implants are typically placed in the jaw. Once the patient heals, they are connected with abutments. Hybrid dentures will then be screwed into a metal framework.

Hybrid dentures are usually good for people who may be wearing standard dentures but want fixed teeth. Patients who have had standard dentures and make the switch to hybrid dentures often report being more comfortable with the hybrid sets.

When a dentist places hybrid dentures there is usually a space left between the denture and the jawbone to allow for cleaning. Patients with hybrid dentures should have their dentist unscrew the dentures twice a year for cleaning.

It’s important to maintain a cleaning schedule with hybrid dentures in order for them to last.

Patients who decide to get dental implants will enjoy these benefits:

  • No cavities
  • Improved eating
  • Increase self-confidence
  • Improved speech

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