Are Dental Implants Right For Me?
Dental implants enable dentists to create healthy, attractive smiles in an innovative way. Used to replace one or more missing teeth, dental implants are another alternative to conventional bridges and dentures. In essence, dental implants can act and look like natural teeth. And, because they maintain bone mass, dental implants can help prevent additional tooth loss as well as the sunken facial appearance associated with missing teeth.
Dental implants can also be used to secure appliances such as dentures and dental bridges. Implant secured dentures, for example, virtually eliminate the problems associated with conventional dentures while still allowing the dentures to be removable for dental hygiene procedures.
A dental implant restoration consists of a bio-compatible titanium screw and post topped by a dental crown, bridge or dentures. The dental implant is surgically placed into the jawbone where it replaces the natural tooth root. In a few months, the dental implant securely attaches to the bone (called “osseointegration”), allowing it to withstand biting and chewing forces just like a healthy, natural tooth.
Dental implants are an important part of our practice at Etheridge Family Dentistry as it allows patients with missing teeth to receive a beautiful, fully-functional smile again.
The most common indications for dental implant therapy are:
- Replacement of one or more missing teeth
- Support of a non-removable “bridge” to replace multiple teeth
- Support of removable full or partial dentures
Patients who successfully pass a screening and evaluation can be considered as candidates for implant dentistry. The primary limiting factor inherent in implant dentistry is the amount of bone available to receive and support the dental implant. If it is determined that a patient does not have enough bone to support a dental implant restoration, bone grafting procedures may be considered. Heavy smoking and some medical conditions may preclude the use of implant dentistry.
What Happens At The First Dental Implant Appointment?
To determine the appropriate site for the dental implant placement, our office typically takes x-rays. Sometimes CT scans may be prescribed as well for a more complete picture of the amount and quality of bone present. Impressions are taken of the mouth and then used by the dental laboratory to create a customized dental implant restoration. Many dental implant dentists fabricate surgical guides to simplify the placement of the dental implants.
What Happens At The Second Dental Implant Appointment?
At the second surgical appointment, the dental implant dentist makes an incision to expose the bone at the dental implant site. The dentist then prepares the site to receive the dental implant. Once the dental implant is secured, the gum tissue is sutured back over the dental implant.
The dental implant is left undisturbed for three to six months to allow it to osseointegrate with the bone. If the dental implant is in a visible area of the mouth, the patient may choose to wear a temporary crown or bridge during the healing period. Dentures may be relined with soft liners to allow patients to comfortably wear them during the healing process.
What Happens At Subsequent Implant Dentistry Appointments?
Once the dental implants have been completely integrated with the bone, a post is attached to each dental implant. Dr. Ty Etheridge then uses his cosmetic dental expertise to create the permanent tooth replacement, reestablishing the normal feel and function of your mouth.
Click here to schedule a preliminary appointment to learn more about dental implants and to find out if dental implants are the right solution for you.
implant before/after gallery
Results: The patient was exuberantly thrilled at the end of the journey and proudly (could) smile (and confidently eat again.)
Details: When I met the patient, they was under the care of a periodontist and a dentist for about ten years. They had a number of implants fail and was told “he could not grow bone and had been wearing temporaries on all their teeth during all these years. They had lost all hope and figured they would never be able to eat meat again. Our team designed a plan to help our patient achieve their dreams of having a healthy stable mouth. We rebuilt their mouth with a total of 16 implants that spanned individual teeth along with bridging many missing tooth areas.
Result: (The Implant) turned out completely natural and they appreciated all the care and attention to detail.
Details: The patient called the office after “hearing a crack when biting down on some hard food”. We went over options of either an implant and or a bridge and decided the best option for them was to do an implant. The results are beautiful even though we did have to send the crown back to the lab a couple times to perfect the color.
Result: It turned out completely natural and they appreciated all the care and attention to detail.
Details: The patient had a failing root canal with no options of restoring the tooth. Based on that we decided to do an implant.
The natural tooth had a small area of recession with some slight coloring so we had the lab design it to look the same.
Result: Everything turned out wonderful and the patient was beyond happy with the look and feel of their new tooth.
Details: Patient had trauma and recently resorption of the tooth that led to failure. We aligned their teeth with Invisalign during the process of the tooth removal, implant placement and healing of the implant.
Result: The patient was totally happy with their smile not having a missing tooth and or dark tooth anymore.
Details: The patient was referred to our office after their orthodontics was completed. We discussed options and decided to do an implant. Once the implant was ready to restore, we had them see the (endodontists) for internal bleaching on the dark root canal tooth and then completed the case with doing four porcelain restorations.
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