Crowns and conventional bridges or dentures may not be your only options when replacing missing teeth. For some people, dental implants offer a smile that looks and feels very natural. Surgically placed below the gums over a series of appointments, implants fuse to the jawbone and serve as a base for individual replacement teeth, bridges or a denture.
Implants offer stability because they fuse to your bone. Integration of the implants into your jaw also helps your replacement teeth feel more natural and some people also find the secure fit more comfortable than conventional substitutes.
Candidates for dental implants need to have healthy gums and adequate bone to support the implant. A thorough evaluation by your dentist will help determine whether you are a good candidate for dental implants.
A dental implant is a titanium screw- shaped artificial replacement of tooth root. An implant crown (artificial tooth) is than attached to artificial root.
The dental implant procedure is a 2-stage process separated by healing time, usually minimum of 3 months:
- Dental implant surgery: Dr. Kinga refers her patients to highly skilled and experienced oral and maxillofacial surgeon or periodontist. Implant (or implants) is surgically placed in the patient's jawbone, usually under local anesthesia. Anxious patient may ask to have surgery done under sedation or general anesthesia. After implant is set into place gums are closed with stitches. It will take three months or longer for healing.
- Implant restoration: After placement site is fully healed, implant is ready to be uncovered for placement of an abutment. After fitting the right abutment Dr. Kinga will make an impression (almost identical to the impression for regular crown). Impression is than sent to laboratory for crown fabrication. Finally, a replacement tooth, (crown), is attached to the abutment. Instead of one or more individual crowns, some patients may have attachments placed on the implant that retain and support a implant denture.
Reasons you may want to consider dental implants:
- To replace one or more teeth
- To provide support for a partial denture
- To increase the support and stability of full upper or lower denture
- To enhance chewing comfort
- To increase confidence while smiling, talking and eating
- To improve your overall psychological health
- To improve esthetic appearance and regain over all confidence
An implant denture is a combination of traditional removable denture and implants. This type of denture fits better than regular one, as it is supported by implants.
Usually two to four implants are surgically placed in the bone. Healing process takes about six months after which Dr. Kinga can begin constructing an implant denture. An implant denture is a removable denture with attachments on the underside that clip onto a bar connected to the implants. The attachments and bar hold the denture in place and keep it from moving when chewing and speaking.
Implant dentures can be classified into two groups:
Implant Retained Dentures are held in place by the attachments, but are mainly supported by the bone and gum tissue as is a conventional denture.
Implant Supported Dentures are for patients who do not have sufficient bone and supporting gum tissue. The bar attached to the implants mainly supports this denture.