Dental Implants are artificial teeth that function and appear much like normal teeth. The root of a dental implant is made out of titanium and fused into the jawbone; because it is a very solid structure that doesn't decay or move it is often more ideal than fixed bridgework or traditional dentures. There are different implant options available dependant on what best suits the patients needs.
In Denver, our dentists help patients with the following dental implants:
- Removable Dental Implants
- Fixed Dental Implants
- Bone Grafts
- Root-Form Endosseous Implants
- Import Supported Bridges
A removable implant prosthesis:
Like a traditional denture a removable implant prosthesis can be removed, contains artificial teeth, and has a pink gum base. Unlike the conventional denture, a removable implant prosthesis is secured onto a metal frame that is attached to the implant abutment ( titanium root) which makes it a more secure fit. It is usually an appealing option compared to individual implants when the person is needing several teeth to be replaced on the lower jaw and is usually more affordable than individual implants if multiple dental implants are needed.
A fixed Implant prosthesis:
With fixed Implants each individual crown is secured to its own implant. If affordability isn't a concern a fixed implant is an appealing option because it is permanently cemented or screwed into an implant abutment. Individual teeth or many teeth can be replaced this way.
The dental implant process:
- First you should schedule a consultation with your dentist (our periodontist Dr. Mark Lucas) in order to figure out what the best procedure would be for your individual situation and budget.
- Once a procedure has been decided upon, the first step in the process would be to place the dental implant into the bone. The gum would be cut open, holes would be drilled through the exposed bone, and the metal post that will serve as the root will be placed.
- Next osseointegration begins. Osseointegration is the process of the jawbone growing into and around the implant to ensure a secure (root) solid base for the new tooth. This is usually the longest step in the entire process, because it can take up to six months for the growth of the bone to be complete.
- After the bone growth stage is complete an abutment needs to be placed to the dental implant. Your gum tissue has to be reopened in order to expose the implant. The abutment where the crown will attach is attached to the implant. Once attached the gum tissue will be closed around the abutment much like a gum would surround a natural tooth. In some cases the abutment was attached with the base implant so this procedure might not be necessary.
- After your gums have healed from the placement of the abutment, impressions will be made of your gums and remaining teeth. The impressions will be used to make the crown that will look and function as a natural tooth would.
- Finally, the crown will be placed as soon as your jawbone is strong enough to regain its functionality and support the use of a new tooth.
Similar to natural teeth it is important to take care of your dental implants and practice good oral hygiene. There are special brushes that are designed for implants that help to ensure effective cleaning around the gums and metal posts. Its important to schedule regular dental check ups every six months to monitor the functionality of the implants and your general oral health. Avoid ice, candy,tobacco, and caffeine to minimize damage to the crowns and your natural teeth.