Dental implants are a revolutionary solution for those who have lost one or more teeth due to injury, decay, or other issues. They are a long-lasting and effective way to restore your smile and improve oral health. And the best place to find that information is in your local dental office with Dr. Byan Foote!
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that are placed into the jawbone to support a replacement tooth or bridge. They are made of biocompatible titanium, which fuses with the bone over time. This process, called osseointegration, creates a strong and stable foundation for the replacement tooth.
There are different types of dental implants available and it can be overwhelming to choose the right one for your specific needs. Let’s take a look at the different types of dental implants that can help transform your smile:
Endosteal implants are the most common type of dental implant used today. They are surgically placed into the jawbone and replace the root of the missing tooth. Endosteal implants are made of titanium and are shaped like small screws. Once the implant is placed in the jawbone, it fuses with the bone over time, creating a solid foundation for a replacement tooth.
Subperiosteal implants are another type of dental implant used when there is insufficient bone in the jaw to support an endosteal implant. Instead of being placed in the jawbone, subperiosteal implants are placed on the bone and under the gum tissue. They consist of a metal frame attached to the jawbone, and once the gums have healed, posts are attached to the frame to hold replacement teeth.
Zygomatic implants are used when insufficient bone in the upper jaw supports an endosteal implant. Instead of being placed in the jawbone, they are anchored into the cheekbone, which provides a strong foundation for replacement teeth. Zygomatic implants are typically used for patients with severe bone loss in the upper jaw.
All-on-4 implants are a type of dental implant used to replace a full arch of teeth. Instead of placing one implant for each missing tooth, four implants are placed strategically in the jawbone to support a full arch of replacement teeth. All-on-4 implants are popular for patients who want to avoid dentures or have experienced significant tooth loss.
Mini implants are smaller than traditional dental implants and are often used to support dentures or bridges. They are less invasive than traditional implants and can often be placed in a single appointment without surgery. Mini implants are a great option for patients who want to avoid surgery or have limited bone density in their jaw.
There are several reasons why dental implants are a popular choice for tooth replacement:
- They look and feel like natural teeth. Dental implants are custom-made to match your natural teeth in shape, size, and color. They are also designed to function like natural teeth, so you can confidently eat, speak, and smile.
- They are long-lasting. Dental implants can last a lifetime with proper care. Unlike other tooth replacement options, such as dentures or bridges, they need not be replaced every few years.
- They preserve bone density. When a tooth is lost, the bone that supports it deteriorates. Dental implants stimulate the bone and prevent further bone loss.
- They are easy to care for. Dental implants require the same care as natural teeth – brushing, flossing, and regular dental check-ups.
The Dental Implant Procedure
The dental implant procedure is typically done in multiple stages:
- Consultation: Your dentist will evaluate your oral health and determine if you are a good candidate for dental implants. This may involve X-rays, CT scans, or other imaging tests to assess the condition of your jawbone.
- Implant Placement: The first stage of the procedure involves placing the implant into the jawbone. This is done under local anesthesia, and you may be given sedation to help you relax.
- Osseointegration: After the implant is placed, it will take several months for it to fuse with the bone. During this time, you will wear a temporary crown or bridge.
- Abutment Placement: Once osseointegration is complete, your dentist will attach an abutment to the implant. This small connector piece will hold the replacement tooth or bridge in place.
- Restoration: The final stage involves attaching the replacement tooth or bridge to the abutment. This is typically done with dental cement or screws.
After your dental implant procedure, following your dentist’s instructions for aftercare is important. This may include:
– Avoiding hard or crunchy foods for the first few weeks
– Using a soft-bristled toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste
– Flossing daily
– Attending regular dental check-ups
Dental implants can last a lifetime and transform your smile with proper care.
Dental implants are a safe and effective way to restore your smile and improve your oral health. If you are missing one or more teeth, talk to your dentist about whether dental implants are right for you. You will want to talk with a dentist who knows and understands the cost of dental implants. With their natural look and feel, long-lasting durability, and ease of care, dental implants can give you the confidence to smile again. Call or schedule an appointment today with a Columbia dental implant specialist!