People are living longer than ever, and while regular brushing, flossing, and checkups allow many of us to maintain our natural smiles for a lifetime, sometimes our teeth just can’t keep up. If you’ve lost a tooth (or a few teeth) due to injury or disease, dental implants can rejuvenate both your smile and your oral health.
In addition to closing the gaps that come with missing teeth, dental implants can also help improve your speech, comfort, confidence and self-esteem. They can make eating easier, provide the security and durability of permanent teeth, and can help improve your oral health. The ideal candidate for implants is a non-smoker who has good oral health, which means they have healthy gums with no sign of gum disease and a sufficient amount of bone in the jaw.
What is a dental implant?
An implant is a synthetic tooth that is surgically placed into the jawbone. The “root” is a post usually made of titanium, a metal that’s well-suited to pairing with human bone. (In fact, it’s the same material used in many knee and hip replacements. Once the post is in place, a replacement tooth is attached to the top. This tooth can either be permanently attached or removable, although a permanent fixture is usually more stable and feels more natural.
The benefits of dental implants
Implants can help improve your oral health, your appearance and your confidence. If you’re missing one or more permanent teeth, here’s a look at some of the benefits of choosing dental implants vs. other treatment options.
Dental implants offer versatility
One of the biggest benefits of implants is their versatility. If you are only missing one tooth, then it only takes one implant and one replacement tooth to do the trick. But if you are missing several teeth in a row, a few strategically placed implants can support a permanent bridge to give you a set of replacement teeth. Finally, if you have lost all of your teeth, a full bridge or full denture can be permanently fixed in your mouth with a strategic number of implants.
The advantages of implants vs. dentures
Dental implants have several benefits over dentures. Implants not only look more natural, but their stronger biting force makes them feel and act more like normal teeth. And, because they don’t directly rely on neighboring teeth for support, implants don’t compromise the health of your other natural teeth. Once you receive a dental implant, it is truly permanent (as in, it will typically outlive you.)
Conversely, conventional bridges and dentures can be unstable since they aren’t fixed to the bone. This can make it difficult to eat or smile with confidence. In addition, bridges are only expected to last seven to 10 years, and root canals even less than that.
Post-treatment care for dental implants
Think of your new replacement teeth exactly as if they were your original, natural teeth. This means they require the same daily brushing and flossing, and the same amount of regular checkups. Just like your natural teeth, the better you take care of your replacements, the longer they will last.
Improve Your Smile Today!
Call Dr. Hallstead, DMD in Canandaigua, NY
Mini Dental Implants
Mini Dental Implants are a form of dental implant that is used to replace missing teeth or to stabilize dentures. As the name suggests, they are smaller than the standard implant used to replace the entire tooth structure.
Here are some of the benefits of Mini Dental Implants:
- Shorter recovery time
- Minimal office visits required
- Better for patients with bone loss
- Less surgically invasive than standard implants
- More comfortable than removable dentures
We offer a variety of dental implant services to suit your individual needs.
Implant Site Development
When a tooth needs to be removed due to infection, it is not uncommon to have lost bone around the infected tooth. In these cases, the area may not be suitable for facilitating a dental implant. To make the tooth socket strong enough for an implant post, we offer various types of bone grafting that can be done at the same time the tooth is removed. Once the area is strong enough, the implant can safely be placed.
Computer Enhanced Treatment Planning
Advanced technology and software allows us to obtain and evaluate a 3D dental CT scan that reveals bone quality, quantity and location. This information enables us to establish the best possible placement of your dental implants, and also allows us to work closely and smoothly with your restorative dentist to ensure an ideal result.
Sinus Lift Augmentation
Losing upper back teeth can often cause enlargement of the sinuses. When this happens, the solid bone that’s required for a dental implant is replaced by the air-filled space of the sinus cavity, which means a post cannot be implanted. A sinus lift augmentation/graft is a surgical procedure that both returns the sinus cavity to its original position and replaces the bone that has been lost as a result of the enlarged sinus. This new bone graft typically takes nine to 12 months to heal before the dental implants can be placed into the grafted bone.
Autogenous Bone Grafting
Occasionally, the ideal areas for dental implants do not have sufficient bone quantity to support the implants. When this happens, it’s possible to “borrow” bone from another area of your mouth and graft it into the deficient area. Often, the area of choice is from the chin or in the back of the jaw where your wisdom teeth used to be. Once the bone graft is healed, the implant can be placed.
Remember that dental implants should be thought of exactly like natural teeth, which means they can also accumulate plaque and tartar. Once your dental implant restoration is completed, it is important to keep the area clean and free from infection. And, no matter how many teeth have been replaced by dental implants — even if it’s just one — a professional cleaning schedule will be necessary to keep your implants healthy. The time interval for these professional cleanings will be determined by your individual needs.