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What Are Dental Implants?

A dental implant is a procedure that replaces the roots of a tooth with artificial materials that often consist of metal posts that resemble small screws. The purpose is to replace teeth that are missing or damaged. One of the greatest benefits of dental implants is that they function a lot like natural teeth.

Whether an injury, periodontal disease or another issue has damaged your tooth or teeth, a dental implant might be an appropriate solution.

Endosteal Dental Implants

Endosteal dental implants are the most common type of implant used as an alternative method when patients do not want removable dentures or bridges. One or more prosthetic teeth can be placed into the implant. Endosteal dental implants involve a surgical procedure to place cylinders, screws or blades into the jawbone.

Subperiosteal Dental Implants

When patients cannot wear conventional dentures because they do not have a sufficient amount of bone height, subperiosteal dental implants are usually a good choice. These implants use posts that protrude through the gums and hold the prosthetic tooth or teeth. The posts are comprised of a metal framework that’s placed on top of your jaw.

More About Dental Implants

Generally speaking, the best candidate for a dental implant is someone who has fairly good oral health. In fact, an ideal candidate will have healthy gums without any periodontal disease. The reason is because it’s necessary to have a certain amount of bone in your jaw to support the implant. However, there are solutions for candidates who have problems with gum tissue or periodontal disease.

Periodontists and dentists with expertise in implant treatment, are responsible for placing dental implants. Sometimes periodontists work closely with other dental experts to ensure you receive comprehensive care that meets all of your needs. The role of all parties involved is to leverage their specialized training and knowledge to restore your smile and support optimal oral health. Important decisions will be made concerning placement of the implant and any other areas of treatment that align with your needs and objectives.

Common Reasons for Dental Implants

Dental implants can be used to replace one tooth, several teeth, or all of your teeth. Generally speaking, if you are missing one tooth, a dental implant and a crown can be a great solution. In the event that you’re missing more than one tooth, a bridge that’s supported by an implant is a good option to replace them. If all of your teeth are missing, your dentist may choose a full bridge or denture that’s supported by an implant to replace them.

Other Considerations

In order to have successful dental implant surgery, your dentist will need to assess the condition of the bone where the implant will be placed. Depending on the placement, there might be a need for sinus augmentation to develop bone for placing the dental implants. This is a consideration when the implant needs to be placed in the back upper jaw area.

If there is a deformity in the lower or upper jaw area, this could mean there isn’t enough bone to place dental implants. This issue is sometimes resolved by exposing the bony defect by lifting the gum. This is called ridge modification, and it’s a procedure that can optimize the appearance of the implant.

If you receive dental implants, you’ll need to care for them just like you care for your natural teeth. This means brushing and flossing at least twice a day. If you’re interested in dental implants, we can provide an assessment and the guidance that you need to achieve optimal oral health and a beautiful smile.