Dental implants are synthetic dental roots that are surgically implanted into the jawbone to replace lost teeth. Dental implant surgery involves replacing tooth roots with metal, screw-like posts to replace damaged or missing teeth with artificial teeth that function and resemble natural teeth. Implant dentistry can be a great alternative to ill-fitting dentures or bridgework. It can also be an ideal option when there aren’t enough natural teeth roots to make dentures or bridgework tooth replacements. The titanium implants integrate with your jawbone, so they won’t slip, emit noise, or cause bone damage like fixed bridgework or dentures. The materials are also impervious to decay, unlike your natural teeth. Studies indicate that dental implants have a success rate of up to 95%. And with proper care, they can last a lifetime.
What Are the Advantages of Dental Implants?
There are several advantages to using tooth implants:
- They look and feel like your own teeth.
- You can eat without worrying about food getting stuck between your teeth.
- Your jawbone is preserved and will continue to grow stronger as you age.
- There’s no need to change your diet or lifestyle.
- The implant lasts indefinitely.
Are You a Candidate for Dental Implants?
Dental implants are an option for anyone who has lost one or more teeth. If you’re considering this option, it’s important to understand how implants work, so you know what to expect during the process. Tooth-shaped implants are surgically inserted into the jawbone. The implants act like “roots” that hold artificial teeth in place. Once the implants heal, the artificial teeth are attached to the implants.
You’re an ideal candidate for implants if:
- You have maintained good oral health and general health.
- Your jawbone is strong enough to sustain the implant.
- Your gum tissues are healthy and free of periodontal disease.
Dental Implant Options
Dental implants can be used to replace a single tooth, multiple teeth, or the entire set of teeth. Teeth replacement in dentistry aims to restore both function and appearance. Precision oral surgery provides four types of implants:
Single tooth implants
Single-tooth implants are best when one (or multiple) natural teeth have been compromised.
Implant bridges are better than traditional dental bridges as they do not compromise the oral health of natural teeth.
Overdentures snap in and lock into the implants. They can easily be taken off and put back on by the patient.
Hybrid Implant Dentures
Hybrid dentures are fixed in place. To clean, your general dentist will remove during your regular cleanings.
What if I Don’t Want Metal in my Jaw?
Ceramic dental implants are a holistic cosmetic alternative to metal implants. They are durable and non-corrosive – and most importantly – they do not cause any potential allergies. At Precision Oral Surgery, we strive to provide the best possible dental solutions to our patients, and ceramic implants are an excellent way to accomplish our goals. There are multiple reasons to choose ceramic over titanium, such as the lack of micro-gaps or cleanliness. They are non-heat conductive and do not have a metallic taste. But the most significant benefits of ceramic dental implants are:
- One-Piece Design: One of the best advantages of ceramic implants over titanium implants is the lack of healing time. This is because they have a single-piece design that does not require extensive healing time following installation. If you don’t want to wait six months for the implant to adhere to the bone,
- Aesthetics: Metal implants are always going to be a silver color. Even if the abutment – or false tooth – is flawlessly constructed, there will be a less-than-seamless appearance. That problem does not exist for ceramic implants, which have a beautiful white and smooth color and finish.
- Better Bond With Bone: The most crucial component of a dental implant is how well the implant adheres to the bone. In general, we have found that ceramic implants are as much or more effective than titanium bridges at osseointegration.
- Helps With Plaque Accumulation: Because ceramic implants have a smooth finish, they prevent plaque and bacteria better than titanium dental implants. The result is a healthier and happier smile. Most importantly, it prevents implant failure.
- Durability: Ceramic dental implants can endure up to 150 pounds of force before they fracture or crack, which is a better rate than what you can expect from a titanium implant. The durability factor is what makes them perfect for all age groups.
- No Allergic Reactions: For those with metal allergies, titanium implants are a no-go. Ceramic implants provide individuals with an alternative. We are grateful for the opportunity to improve our patients’ smiles, and the non-metal properties of ceramic implants are what allow us to do so.
- No Corrosion: Eventually, your titanium implant will corrode, so why bother? Ceramic implants do not degrade over time, giving them a major advantage for patients who opt for a ceramic dental implant.
- Cleanliness: We place ceramic implants at the gum line rather than below the gum line. Because the implant itself is above the gums, it is easier to keep the implant itself clean than below the gum.
- No Metallic Taste: Titanium is a metal. Some patients report a persistent metallic taste they have to grow accustomed to. There is no taste with ceramic implants whatsoever, a major plus for those with sensitive taste buds.
- Preserved Bone: Titanium can cause bone loss in the area where the dentist places the implant. Because ceramic implants do not cause bone loss, they can be a better long-term option for many patients.
What Is Involved in Getting a Dental Implant?
A maxillofacial and oral surgeon, a dentist who specializes in treating structures that support the teeth, such as gums and bones (periodontist), a dentist who designs and fits artificial teeth (prosthodontist), or an ENT specialist, may be involved in the planning process for dental implants. Since implant dentistry necessitates one or more surgical procedures, you must undergo a detailed assessment to prepare for the treatment, which includes:
- A comprehensive dental exam that involves dental X-rays, 3D images, and models made of your teeth and jaw.
- A review of your medical history, including any prescription medications you take and over-the-counter medications and vitamins.
- A surgical plan customized to your needs, considering factors like how many teeth implant placements are required and the state of your jawbone and remaining teeth.
The length of your procedure will vary based on your individual treatment. In addition to the time spent during the procedure, you can also expect to be in our office an additional thirty minutes to one hour for consultation and in-office recovery time.
You will be scheduled for surgery once your dental surgeons have devised a surgical plan and determined that you are in good health. If your dental surgeons advise IV sedation for the procedure, make arrangements for someone to drive you home after your surgery.
Dental Implant Surgical Procedure
The soft tissues (gums) and underlying hard tissues (bone) in the mouth are inextricably linked to dental implants. Precision Oral Surgery offers the ideal combination of expertise and knowledge to ensure you obtain a dental implant solution that looks and feels like your own teeth. Dental implant surgery is commonly conducted in an outpatient setting in stages, with healing time in between. The placement of a dental implant entails several steps, including:
- Damaged tooth removal
- Jawbone preparation (grafting), as required
- Dental implant placement
- Bone growth and healing
- Abutment placement
- Artificial tooth placement
From start to finish, the process can take many months. The majority of that time is spent recovering and waiting for new bone to form in your jaw.
If you’re interested in dental implants, be sure to schedule a consultation to discuss your options. At the consultation, your oral surgeon will take a 3D scan of your mouth to create a treatment plan for your procedure. If you have enough bone remaining in your jaw, the consultation, extraction of the existing tooth, and the implant can be done in one convenient visit.
The Aftercare Process
Dental implants, like natural teeth, require diligent at-home oral hygiene and regular follow-up appointments to maintain function and prevent peri-implant disease. Brushing, flossing, rinsing with an antimicrobial mouthwash, and frequent dental appointments are all required to maintain dental implants and dental hygiene, just as they are for real teeth.
Your periodontist will work closely with you and your dentist to design the optimal treatment plan for you after you’ve received your implant. Regular follow-up appointments will be scheduled to ensure the health of your implant, teeth, and gums.