Are missing teeth making your life uncomfortable? Has it become difficult to eat your favorite foods? Are you embarrassed in social situations due to gaps in your smile? If so, dental implants may be able to help you and improve your quality of life. These restorations provide a permanent foundation to support new crowns, and even your existing dentures can be anchored to them to reduce the need for messy adhesives. Dental implants can dramatically improve your health and confidence by allowing you to regain your beautiful and functional smile.
What are dental implants?A dental implant is a titanium post designed to replace missing teeth. Most implants are surgically placed in the bone and gradually fuse to the jawbone, a process called osseointegration. The final crown is not put on until this process is complete. Integration of the implants into your jaw helps your replacement teeth feel more natural. For dental implants you must have healthy gums and adequate bone to support the implant.
Types of Artificial Teeth AvailableWhen it comes to dental implants, crowns are usually chosen to replace a single tooth, and each prosthetic will attach to a singular implant. In other cases, a bridge may be used to replace multiple teeth, and it may require additional implants to provide adequate support.
Full arch dentures could be used to replace all teeth in the lower or upper jaw. With this type of restoration, the total number of the implants needed will be evaluated by Dr. Dahle.
Dental Implant CandidatesIf you are interested in dental implants, it is important to first see if you are a candidate. A thorough dental and radiographic examination will determine such things as bone availability, location of sinuses, gingival health, occlusal forces, and smile line. These are all crucial aspects of evaluation for placement of implants, and using this unique, individual information, we'll explain your options and develop a treatment plan.
The Surgical ProcedureYour dental needs are unique to you, so we offer individualized treatment plans for each patient. In some cases, bone grafting (performed by a specialist) may be needed prior to placement of the implants, especially if there isn't enough bone available to properly support the restoration. If you have enough bone or your bone is reconstructed, the implants will be surgically placed.
After the titanium posts have been implanted, you'll need to wait at least 2–4 months so that the bone can fuse to them. Temporary dentures may be available during this time, and after your permanent restorations are put into place, the implant itself will be entirely invisible. In total, the procedure will take 3–5 months, but most patients report minimal disruptions to their daily lives.
Caring for Your ImplantsAfter your teeth have been restored with dental implants, it is important that you keep up a good home care routine so that your mouth stays healthy. You'll need to floss and brush daily, and you should also follow up with your dentist for regular examinations and cleaning. With proper care, your implants could possibly last a lifetime, making it especially important that you follow our recommendations in order to protect your investment.