What are dental implants?
Dental implants are artificial tooth replacements used to counter tooth loss and are the best option to replace missing teeth. Dental implants are replacement tooth roots. Like tooth roots, dental implants are secured in the jawbone and aren’t visible once surgically placed. They are used to secure crowns, bridgework or dentures by a variety of means. Dental implants are made of titanium, which is very lightweight, strong, and biocompatible. Titanium and it’s alloys are the most widely used metals in both dental and other bone implants, such as joint replacements. Titanium’s special property of fusing to bone called osseointegration, is the biological basis of dental implant success. Dental implants have the highest success rate of any implanted surgical device.
What are the advantages of dental implants?
Dental implants can be used to replace a single tooth, multiple teeth, or all the teeth in one or both arches of the mouth. Dental implants look and feel like your own teeth and therefore, they are the closest thing to natural teeth. Dental implants are fused to bone and permanent; whereas, dentures are removable. The fusion to bone provides stability and also prevents bone loss and atrophy that normally results from missing teeth. Dental implants do not require reducing other teeth, as a traditional bridge does. The surrounding teeth are not being altered to support the dental implant; therefore, improving long-term oral health. Individual dental implants allow easier access between teeth which leads to improved oral hygiene. Dental implants allow you to eat all the foods that you would with natural teeth. Dental implants are reliable and have a 95% or higher success rate. Dental implants provide a long-term solution to your dental problems and often last a lifetime; whereas, bridges usually must be replaced. Dental implants may also improve appearance, speech, self-esteem, and be life changing. Dr. Bennett can help you decide if implants are the solution for you.
How are dental implants placed?
Dental implants require a surgical procedure in which precision channels are created in the jawbone. Prior to surgery, careful and detailed planning is required to identify vital structures such as the inferior alveolar nerve and the sinus. The shape, type, and dimensions of the bone need to be examined in order to properly orient the dental implants for the most predictable outcome. Dr. Bennett uses a CBVT 3-D scan to plan his dental implant cases. When placing a dental implant, a pilot hole is bored into the recipient bone. The pilot hole is expanded by using progressively wider drills to accomidate the width and length of the dental implant. A cooling saline or sterile water spray keeps the temperature of the bone to below 47 degrees Celsius or 117 degrees Fahrenheit. The dental implant is then placed at a precise torque into the prepared dental implant site and allowed to heal. The bone grows around it forming a tight connection, which additionally slows or stops the bone loss that occurs when the root of a natural tooth is missing. Once the implant is completely healed or integrated with the bone, Dr. Bennett will restore the dental implant or implants. This usually involves two more components: the abutment and the crown.
How do I know if I am a suitable candidate for dental implants?
If you feel that dental implants could be a viable option for you, please contact Dr. Bennett to schedule an oral exam. It is not acceptable to proceed with implant treatment if there are areas of untreated disease of teeth, gums, or bone, as these can affect the success of your dental implant surgery as well as the integration and maintenance of the dental implant itself.