Missing teeth can cause you to lose the aesthetics of your smile and become self conscious. If you don’t like the feel of wearing dentures, at Enhance Family Dental, we offer you a better alternative – dental implants.
Dental implants can provide stability and support to your "bite" while replacing a single tooth or multiple teeth. It is the next best thing to a natural tooth.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are generally made of biocompatible titanium or titanium alloy and have a precise screw-like shape and design. They serve as a replacement for your natural tooth roots. Dental implants are placed in your jaw bone and after three to four months of healing become integrated into the jaw and gum tissue. When the implant is deemed stable it can be used to support a single crown. If multiple implants were placed, then the implants can support a non removable bridge which will replace and function like multiple missing adjacent teeth. Multiple implants can also be used to stabilize loose and wobbly dentures. Dental Implants can be used in many different ways to improve function and esthetics!
Dental Implant Procedure
The dental implant process may take several months to complete to allow for complete healing. Every implant case is different and several factors need to be considered when developing a treatment plan and treatment timeline. At Enhance Family Dental, Brian Hill, DDS will take comprehensive x-rays and 3D images of your teeth and jaw, review your dental and medical history, complete a thorough dental exam, and formulate a treatment plan based on your special circumstances to address your concerns.
In general, dental implant placement requires less numbing than a typical filling and patients experience little to no discomfort post operatively. A small incision is made in the gum tissue in order to access the proposed implant site. In order to safely place the implant, a small amount of bone is removed using special implant handpieces and motors. A cylinder shaped space is created using specific implant burs, and the implant is carefully placed into the space. X-rays are typically taken during placement to ensure proper orientation of the implant.
Some patients may leave the office with a temporary crown attached to the implant the day the implant is placed. Other patients may have a special cap called a cover screw placed on top of the implant to allow for a more stable healing environment. Every situation is different and maximum healing of the bone surrounding the implant is the most critical objective when placing a dental implant. Proper bone healing around an implant is called osseointegration. When the implant becomes osseointegrated it is stable and ready to be used to replace a missing tooth.
After three to four months of healing the implant is typically osseointegrated. Special impression parts are then attached to the implant so an impression can be made. Two weeks after the impression is taken we then attach the crown, bridge, or other appliance that was fabricated in order to replace the missing tooth or teeth and enhance your function and esthetics. It is several steps spread over a few months but the results will be immediate and long lasting!
Dental implants require a certain amount of bone volume of proper density in order to ensure their long term success. If a preliminary examination and X-rays reveal an inadequate bone volume, then bone grafting before or during the implant placement may be required.
There are several types of bone grafts and each type has its specific benefits. The bone graft process may require an additional healing period, but it can be an important step needed to set up for long term success. Brian Hill, DDS will create a customized treatment plan to optimize your time, finances, and treatment results.
Your implant should provide years of function. Proper maintenance and hygiene is vital to maximizing the longevity of your investment. Keeping your dental cleaning and exam appointments is an essential way for us to check for signs of any developing disease and keep your teeth and gums healthy. Call us at (586) 666-4950 to schedule an appointment today!