What are dental implants?
Dental Implants can restore the highest degree of function after tooth loss. Tooth replacement is a routine dental treatment; however, the methods of replacement are continually advancing. Ridgeview Family Dental is excited to provide advanced services through continual training in the placement of dental implants. While conventional dentures, partials, and bridges may be an option to consider, we recommend learning more about dental implants:
Implants are much like a small screw made of medical-grade titanium alloy which is placed in the bone where a tooth or teeth are missing. Titanium implants have been the standard for years in dental implantology and have demonstrated amazing longevity because they integrate extremely well with bone tissue. Today, implants are made in various sizes, shapes, and materials.
Benefits of dental implants
Dental implants are different than dentures, partials, or bridges in that they replace foundational roots. Roots help support good jawbone structure which greatly improves stability for chewing and speaking. They even provide support for the lips, cheek, and face. Once teeth are lost, the bone will immediately begin to waste away, eventually leaving a collapsed appearance to the face.
Implants greatly slow down the process of bone loss by returning function to the bone. In the case of a single missing tooth, it can now be conservatively replaced without permanently shaving down adjacent teeth, which is necessary when placing a conventional bridge.
Am I A Good Candidate For Dental Implants?
During a comprehensive exam, an assessment will be made by your dentist to determine whether or not you are a good candidate for implants. Dental implants are a great option for replacing a missing tooth, or for anchoring prosthetics replacing multiple teeth. The factor that comes into play is jawbone mass and density. Teeth that have been missing for some time may have caused a loss of jawbone mass in that area. This decreased mass may not be sufficient to hold an implant. In these cases, the patient will need one or more jawbone graft procedures to make it ready for implants.
The following must be considered:
- Medical health
- Bone structure (height, width, sinus position, and nerve position)
- Bone density
- Condition of the surrounding teeth
- Periodontal conditions
- The usage of tobacco
- The usage of addictive substances
Otherwise, as long as the patient doesn’t have another dental issue such as gum disease, most people of all ages are good candidates for implants.
How to care for Dental Implants
Although the root portion of dental implants lies beneath the gums, good oral care is necessary. Management of oral health with twice-daily brushing, nightly flossing, routine checkups, and cleanings is crucial for maintaining healthy bone and gums tissue.
“I’m always greeted with a friendly face by all. Such a professional and knowledgeable staff. Dr Young always has time to ask how my day is going. Keep up the good work and thanks for the outstanding service.”
“As always Dr. Young and his staff were courtious and professional. They answered my daughter’s questions in a way that she could understand.”
What happens if I don’t replace a missing tooth?
Teeth need pressure on each side from adjacent teeth otherwise they tend to move. This is what happens with a missing tooth, as the adjacent teeth slide over to fill the gap. This creates problems with your alignment and bite. Chewing and biting transfer a great deal of energy down into the tooth and through the tooth into the jawbone. This energy stimulates the jawbone to continually regenerate new bone mass. This is key to a healthy, strong, jawbone. Without that energy coming down through the tooth, the jawbone in that area begins to deteriorate and resorb. This is why older people who have been missing a number of teeth for some time can appear as if their jaw is collapsing inward. Missing teeth can be embarrassing visually, and can also create whistling sounds when pronouncing certain words. Also, missing molars can create problems with chewing, making the person avoid certain foods, which can cause nutritional deficiencies.
Dental Implant Procedure
A local anesthetic is administered to the treatment site. This reduces all sensation so there is no pain associated with the procedure. For most patients, the placement of dental implants involves two surgical procedures.
- First Phase: For the first procedure, implants are carefully positioned in the jawbone. For the next three to six months following surgery, the implants located under the gum tissue are gradually fusing with the jawbone. In most cases, individuals should be able to wear temporary dentures or a partial during this time.
- Second Phase: For the second procedure, the dentist will uncover the implants and attach small posts that protrude through the gums, functioning as anchors for either crowns or dentures.
Each phase will require stitches to hold the gum tissue in its proper position while healing. The final step is the placement of the crown or the implant-supported denture. The entire procedure usually requires six to eight months. Most patients experience minimal disruption in their daily life and have commented that the implant placement procedure was easier than the extraction of the tooth.
Is it painful to get Implants?
Many patients assume that the placement of an implant is a painful process. In reality, the placement of an implant is more comfortable than the extraction of a tooth. Other than pressure, there should be no feelings of pain during the placement of an implant. After placement, some soreness may occur with the gums which can usually be managed by over-the-counter pain medications like ibuprofen or Tylenol.
How Long Do Dental Implants Last?
While implants are typically more expensive than other methods of tooth replacement, they provide superior benefits. Implants are stronger than natural teeth and generally last 10-20 years. Implants typically have a longer life-span than bridgework.
Schedule a Consultation
We would love to discuss your options! Contact our office at 660.747.9117 to schedule an appointment. Ridgeview Family Dental serves Grain Valley, and Bates City thanks to our convenient locations in Warrensburg, Oak Grove and Windsor.