Dental implants have the ability to drastically improve your quality of life. The impact of restoring your smile can increase your confidence, oral health, chewing function, and jawbone quality. Dental implants can be your opportunity for renewal of self-confidence by replacing what you have lost.
A dental implant is a tiny titanium screw that is surgically inserted into the jawbone and acts as a tooth root. It supports a dental prosthesis such as a crown, bridge or denture. Over a short healing phase, the titanium and bone form a bond, called osseointegration, which acts as a strong foundation for artificial teeth.
Success or failure of dental implants depends on a number of factors. The health of the tissue and bone in the mouth, the level of stress put on the prosthetic teeth by chewing and grinding, and the positioning of the implants are some of the many variables that allow for success. A well-integrated dental implant with appropriate biomechanical loads can have long-term success rates of 93 to 98%.
Often, implants can be placed at the same time a tooth is extracted. Based upon the initial implant stability measured during surgical placement, the ability to immediately load the implant with a temporary tooth or prosthesis is determined. If this is the case either Dr. Denson or Dr. Mueller can fabricate the temporary prosthesis.
Since bone loss occurs regularly after extraction, sometimes bone grafting, sinus lifts, or tissue grafting are required to optimize dental implant placement. Dental implant placement is a team effort between an oral and maxillofacial surgeon and the general dentist. Dr. Muller will perform the actual implant surgery, initial tooth extraction(s), and bone grafting (if necessary), and then Dr. Denson will fit and make the permanent prosthesis.
- A single crown prosthesis is used to replace one missing tooth and is attached to a single implant.
- A fixed bridge replaces two or more teeth and is supported by two to three implants.
- A complete dental arch prosthesis (fixed bridge) replaces all the teeth in your upper or lower jaw. The number of implants may vary.
- A removable prosthesis (over-denture) fits into an implant-supported anchoring device.
Dental Implants Versus Traditional Restorations
- There are several reasons to choose dental implants.
- A traditional restoration (bridge) requires sacrificing the structure of surrounding good teeth to bridge a space.
- A traditional denture or partial denture can move or become uncomfortable.
- Patients often prefer the convenience of having a fixed (cemented/screw retained) prosthesis.
- Implants significantly increase prosthesis stability and retention, resulting in stronger chewing forces.