If you suffer from tooth loss, dental implants can restore your smile and confidence by enhancing your functionality and overall oral health. Known as one of the most secure and long-lasting tooth replacement options available, dental implants can seamlessly blend in with the rest of your teeth so you can start smiling again.
Unlike your natural teeth, dental implants can't get cavities.
Your dentist will first sit down with you to determine if dental implants best suit your unique needs. After examining your mouth, administering X-rays, and checking your jaw health, your dentist will decide if one or more dental implants will provide the proper tooth restoration required for your smile. At this time, you and your dentist can discuss other restorative dentistry alternatives that may be a better fit for you.
Once you’ve been approved for treatment, your dentist will schedule your oral surgery appointment and provide a surgical plan. During the surgery, your dentist will open your gum tissue slightly to securely place a dental implant in the jaw. Your dentist will complete the procedure by cleaning the area and adding sutures to begin the healing process.
Your gums will begin to heal once your implants have been placed. Most patients heal completely from surgery within 1-2 weeks. In a process called “osseointegration,” the dental implant will take between 3-6 months to permanently bond with your jaw bone.
To ensure proper healing and bonding occurs, you’ll want to visit our office for a few follow-up appointments after your surgery. Your dentist will examine your jaw and gums and take impressions of your implant and teeth. These impressions will be sent over to a lab, who will craft a custom prosthetic, dental crown or arch of teeth.
After the lab has completed your prosthetic and your mouth has fully healed, you’ll visit our office for your final appointment. During the visit, your dentist will complete the procedure by permanently placing the restoration to your dental implant.
Keep your mouth and dental implant healthy by brushing and flossing regularly. Don’t forget to see your dentist every six months for a teeth cleaning and oral exam.
As the most-frequently used dental implant, single-tooth implants are made up of two main parts. The dental implant, or post, is a titanium rod with a screw-like shape. A dental crown is the restoration that is usually applied to the single implant.
To place a single dental implant, the post is bonded permanently into your gum and jaw. As the gum heals, a dental crown is created, which is eventually attached to the post by an “abutment.” This dental crown reinstates the shape, function, and appearance of your natural tooth. Unlike a partial denture, single-tooth implants are extremely durable and never move or shift.
If you are missing all or most of your natural teeth, and are looking for a secure, durable alternative to traditional dentures, full-arch implants may be the best option for you. By placing a series of 4-6 dental implants per arch into your mouth, you can enjoy the look and function of a new smile that can last a lifetime.
These dental implants act as artificial roots that allow a set of removable implant-supported overdentures or fixed dental bridges to permanently bond to the gumline and restore your smile. Full-arch implants look and feel much more natural, and will never shift or move when you eat or speak, unlike dentures.
Similar to standard dental implants, mini implants are about half of the size of a traditional implant. They can be used to restore one tooth or several missing teeth, but mini implants are most commonly used to support a set of dentures in the lower jaw.
Due to their small size, the placement process is not as invasive as traditional implants. Plus, mini implants can usually still be applied in your jaw even if it has been weakened by bone resorption after tooth loss.
Unlike dentures which require replacements, dental implants can potentially last a lifetime.
Dental implants are composed of two unique parts: one screw-shaped titanium “post”, and the restorative component, which is usually a dental crown and abutment. A wide selection of pre-selected post sizes are available to ensure each patient gets an implant that suits their needs. The restoration, on the other hand, is a custom-made appliance. Once your dentist secures your dental implant, they will administer impressions of your teeth and send them to a dental lab.
The lab will create a long-lasting, resilient dental implant restoration. Most are crafted out of porcelain or another high-quality, durable material. Once the restoration is complete, the lab will send it back to our office, and your dentist will complete the procedure by securely attaching your dental implant in place.
When properly placed and maintained with care, dental implants can last up to 30 years or more. It’s very common for patients to keep their implants for the rest of their lives.
The dental implant restoration, on the other hand, may not last this long. Restorations such as dental crowns or overdentures are exposed to regular wear and tear from chewing, biting, and more. Over the years, the restoration may need to be replaced a few times to keep your smile healthy and functional.
Dental implants can become infected, but it is a very rare complication. Known as “peri-implantitis,” a dental implant infection usually only occurs if the implant is not kept clean or cared for after surgery.
To avoid peri-implantitis and maintain a healthy implant, follow your dentist’s instructions while recovering, and be sure to brush and floss regularly after your implant has healed.
Yes. When your jaw is no longer stimulated by the natural pressure of chewing and biting, bone loss will occur. Losing a tooth stops this process, causing the jaw bone to weaken.
When the dental implant post is bonded directly into the jaw bone, it acts as an artificial tooth root and transmits the force of chewing and biting through the root and into your jaw bone, keeping it healthy and strong.
There are a few types of dental implants that can be done in one day. The restoration your dentist provides is a temporary appliance to keep your tooth healthy and functional until you have fully healed from your dental implant placement surgery. With your restoration, you can speak and eat normally throughout the healing process.
Your dentist will schedule a series of follow up appointments to track your healing process and take impressions of your teeth. These impressions will help the lab create your custom-made restoration, which will be a more permanent, durable, and natural-looking prosthetic than your temporaries.
Your implants and teeth should never shift after receiving dental implants. An implant is securely held in place because it is embedded in the jawbone by forming an artificial tooth root. This is what prevents the implant from moving throughout its lifespan.
Implants last for 25 years to life and usually never need to be replaced. In that time, you should certainly not deal with a moving implant unless the implant has failed. However, if you think you feel your implant moving very soon after implant placement, it’s more likely that it’s not actually moving and your mouth is just adjusting to the new pressure sensations from attaching your restoration to the implant.
This places additional pressure on the implant, creating a feeling of tightness. This sensation subsides within a few days, but it can feel like the changes in pressure are because your teeth or implant is moving.
A genuine moving implant is rare but is a dental emergency that indicates your implant is either being rejected or infected. You should contact Dr. Anderson right away if you notice your implants are genuinely moving so we can determine if you have peri-implantitis or a metal allergy.
To care for dental implants, you only need to practice good oral hygiene and attend regular dental appointments. You’ll be able to eat any foods that you want. If you have a single-tooth implant, simply brush and floss around the implant like your natural teeth with a nonabrasive toothpaste.
If you have full-arch implants, you will need to clean around the implants but you will also need to remove your denture to thoroughly clean it and soak it overnight if it is removable. Avoid using abrasive products on your implants and use interdental brushes to remove plaque from between the implants and your surrounding teeth.
Immediately after receiving your implants, you will need to follow aftercare instructions provided to you by your dentist to ensure that your implants are properly healing and to encourage proper osseointegration.
This will include temporary diet restrictions because you need to keep chewing to a minimum in the first week following implant placement. For about a week after receiving your implants, you will need to eat a soft food diet.
In the first 1 or 2 days, you should consume mostly liquids or very soft foods like pudding and applesauce which require no chewing. As the days progress, you can start to eat chewier foods but still need to avoid hard, sticky, and tough foods.
Once you have healed from the implant procedure which typically only takes a couple of days to a couple of weeks, you can eat a restriction-free diet. Keep in mind that eating hard and sticky foods can cause some degradation of your attached restorations which may reduce their lifespan and require early replacement. However, the implants themselves last for 25 years to a lifetime with proper care.
Dental implants are made of titanium, which is one of the strongest and most durable metals.