Dental Implants for Replacing Missing Teeth
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What are Dental Implants?Dental implants are titanium inserts meant to support false teeth. They are surgically implanted and left to fuse into your jaw. The implants therefore act as a new "root" for your mouth. They can be used to replace any number of teeth—from one implant to a whole implant-supported bridge—and they offer a permanent solution to tooth loss. In order to be successful, your jawbone must be stable. Following tooth loss, the bone can deteriorate around the area where the tooth used to be. Provided your jaw is sufficiently strong upon surgery, meaning that no bone graft is necessary, dental implants can actually slow and even stop this deterioration.
Because of their ability to maintain the integrity of your jaw, dental implants can offer you a better alternative to other temporary tooth-replacement options, which only sit over the area where your tooth used to be. They also save any perfectly healthy remaining teeth that surround the empty space from being ground and having the bridge cemented to them.
What Types of Implants are There?There are many types of dental implants available to meet your specific needs. Implants can be used to replace a single tooth, a section of teeth or even an entire bridge. Just how many implants you need will be determined by how many teeth you need replaced as well as the evaluation done by the dentist.
Single tooth replacements are meant for those who need only one tooth replaced, or even a couple teeth that are separate from one another. In this instance, one implant is given for each new tooth.
Multiple teeth replacements are for those who are missing more than one tooth in a specific section, but not necessarily all of their teeth. The replacement teeth are joined together to create an implant supported bridge. The number of implants needed will be determined by the dentist. It could be as few as one to as many as one per tooth.
If all of your teeth need replacing, you have a couple of options for implant supported overdentures. Fixed overdentures are non-removable, except by Dr. Kooning, for cleaning and maintenance. They are held in place by screws. Removable overdentures snap or clip into place and can be removed by you for cleaning. The overdentures can be supported by as few as four implants per arch.
What is the Implant Process?Before you receive your implants, a consultation will first be given. You will receive a complete examination, where x-rays and a CT scan shall be given. This allows Dr. Kooning to look at your teeth as well as the condition of your jawbone. An impression will be taken in order for a temporary prosthetic to be created.
On the day of your surgery, any remaining damaged or compromised teeth are removed. Holes are drilled into the jaw and the titanium rods placed. Another impression is taken in order to create your permanent replacement. The temporary prosthetic is placed, allowing you to leave the same day with a set of working teeth.
During your recovery period, start with consuming only liquids. Eventually you will be able to chew, but it is recommended that you chew only soft foods. You will visit our office regularly to make sure your implants are healing properly. Once you are fully healed, which could take six to twelve weeks, you will return to our office to have your permanent prosthetic placed. After you are fully healed and your permanent prosthetic is placed, you can resume eating all of the foods you once enjoyed and care is the same as if you had your original teeth. No one will be able to tell that your teeth are not real.
Schedule Your Implant AppointmentFor a permanent solution to tooth loss, consider dental implants. Not only do you receive a natural looking replacement, you can save your jaw from suffering some severe damage. At Kooning Family Dentistry, your needs are our number one concern. For the best quality care, give us a call today at (503) 673-9097 to schedule your appointment.