Dental Implants

Dental Implants are specialized posts which are surgically placed into the jawbone to replace missing teeth or to support a denture. The implant functions similar to the root of a natural tooth and depending on the number of implants placed, it can be used to replace everything from a single tooth to a full complement of teeth.  It takes an average of 3-6 months for the implant to integrate with the jawbone before it can be used to support a dental restoration.

The most common materials used for dental implants are titanium or a titanium alloy. There are some ceramic implants available for those wishing to have a non-metallic option.

There are many benefits to having an implant placed.  A missing tooth can be replaced without cutting down the adjacent healthy teeth as is required when placing a bridge.  Implants allow your dentist an additional restorative to replace missing teeth even when a bridge is not an option.  Dental implants can provide a more secure and stable base for a denture, particularly in the lower jaw. Also, dental implants help preserve and maintain healthy jawbone in the area of the missing tooth or teeth.  With proper home care and maintenance, dental implants can restore your smile and chewing ability for a lifetime.

Implant Supported Crowns

Titanium dental implant

An implant supported crown is a dental restorative solution that replaces a missing tooth by inserting an artificial titanium “root” implant into the jawbone and attaching an artificial tooth to it. It is cemented in place or attached to the implant with a screw and cannot easily be taken out.Implant supported crowns function to restore the natural shape, size, and color of your teeth. They serve to build back or enhance your smile, help you speak and chew properly, while maintaining good tooth, bite and jaw alignment. Implant crowns also prevent remaining teeth from moving out of position.

A major benefit to placing Implant crowns is that existing teeth do not need to be adjusted or “cut down” in order to replace the missing teeth as occurs with conventional tooth supported crown.

Implant Supported Crowns are usually made of four types of materials:    

  1. Porcelain
  2. Gold Alloy (commonly gold, platinum, palladium)
  3. Porcelain fused to an inner core of gold alloy
  4. Zirconia metal oxide

Implant Supported Bridge

An implant supported bridge is a dental restorative solution that replaces missing teeth by   placing two or more titanium “roots” implants into the jaw bone and attaching artificial teeth to them.  The bridge is then either cemented in place or attached to the implants with screws and cannot easily be taken out.

Implant Bridges function to restore the natural shape, size, and color of your teeth. They serve to build back or enhance your smile, help you speak and chew properly, while maintaining good tooth, bite and jaw alignment. Implant Bridges also prevent remaining teeth from moving out of position.

A benefit to placing Implant Bridges is that existing teeth do not need to be adjusted or “cut down” in order to replace the missing teeth as occurs with conventional tooth supported bridges.

Another benefit is long gaps or spaces where multiple teeth are missing can be treated effectively with implant supported bridges. In contrast, long span natural tooth supported bridges may have less support and greater flexing of the restoration across the gap, increasing potential bridge failure.

Implant Supported Bridges are usually made of four types of materials:    

  • Porcelain
  • Gold Alloy (commonly gold, platinum, palladium)
  • Porcelain fused to an inner core of gold alloy
  • Zirconia metal oxide

Implant Retained and Implant Supported Prosthesis

In this era of dentistry we have more ways to restore dental esthetics and function than any other time in history. Dental implants have been a big part of that revolution. There are several ways that dental implants can help restore dentition by a single tooth, multiple tooth bridge or a complete set of teeth. Those who find themselves without teeth for one reason or another can benefit immensely from implants.  

Dentures often are hard to wear for many people especially the lower denture with the tongue and muscles of the mouth moving them around. One type of prosthesis uses the existing dentures, but with two implants on the lower, they now can snap the lower denture on firmly.  This changes everything for those who struggle with a lower denture moving around and creating sore spots. These implants retain the denture during the day, but can be removed at night to be cleaned.

Implant retained lower denture with two implants

 

Another implant prosthesis uses as few as four implants to restore an entire arch of teeth.  This type of dental prosthesis is very popular because no part of the prosthesis has the ability to move or rub creating sore spots. This type of implant prosthesis is called a hybrid or “all on four”. It stays in the mouth and is not removed at any time by the patient. Having multiple implants can also preserve the existing bone structure. Those who have this type of implant prosthesis can eat virtually anything and as a result have a better diet with fruits, vegetables, and more fiber. They also find themselves more confident in their smile and speech.

Implant supported lower denture with four implants: