Am I a dental implant candidate?
You bet. Most people are good candidates if they are missing one, two, or more teeth.You may also be a candidate for dental implants if:
You have problems with existing crowns or bridges.
You have loose dentures.
What are the benefits of dental implant treatment?
First of all, you will be able to smile. A big, healthy, happy smile. And you will have a lot to smile about, too. Dental implants allow you to speak, eat, sing, kiss - in other words, do everything you want - with total self assurance.
United States denture wearers spend over $150 million a year on adhesives in the futile effort to hold their dentures in place. With implants, you will most likely not have to worry about loose dentures, an inconsistent fit, or other embarrassments such as unpleasant taste, bad breath, or poor appearance.
Besides my mental health, do implants have other effects on my health, that differ from the overall health care provided by other treatments for tooth loss?In addition to improving your self-esteem, dental implants can also make a big difference in your overall physical health and appearance.As a result of losing one or more teeth, you inevitably lose mass in your jaw. This affects the overall skeletal structure of your face which not only changes your profile, but also may result in thin lips, drooping muscles, jowls or witch's chin. Spreading bone loss in the jaw affects the gums and ridges in your mouth, as well as the muscles and nerves in and around the mouth. These conditions, which are the inevitable consequence of tooth loss, are associated with a host of anatomic and clinical problems, ranging from increased tongue size, to looseness of remaining teeth, to loss of sensation, to severely painful conditions. These conditions most often are only avoided through use of dental implants, because implants may halt and even reverse the bone loss that results from losing teeth.
How do dental implants prevent bone loss?
Bone needs stimulation to maintain its form and density. That is why the astronauts lose bone mass while they are in space - their bones lack the stimulation that results from our everyday resistance to gravity. The bone in your jaw is constantly reinforced by the force applied by your teeth.
- The teeth transmit force to surrounding bone, so when you lose a tooth, the lack of stimulation results in bone loss or "resorption".
- Dental implants are inserted into the jawbone in place of missing teeth. Then prosthetic restorations, like porcelain crowns, bridge-work, or dentures are attached to a post or abutment placed inside the implant. So when you chew, the implant acts like the root of a tooth - it transmits force to the jaw and stimulates the bone.
It is as if implants "trick" the bone into thinking there is still a tooth present. By transmitting the natural forces of chewing to the jaw, implants increase bone density. Dental implants have been proven not only to stop bone loss, but in some cases actually to reverse bone loss and restore the health of the jaw.>We at Abbadent Center for Cosmetic Dentistry use Biohorizons and Zimmer Implants. These implants were the first dental implants to be specifically designed to take into account the varying strength requirements of the different bone densities found in the human jaw. That means better health for you over the long term
Another health advantage that implants provide over conventional bridgework is that implants prevent the necessity of having other teeth cut down, in order to build a bridge or crown, which is necessary in certain clinical situations.
Can I still eat my favorite foods with implants?
Yes. Implants are remarkably strong, and remember - they stay put, unlike removable dentures. So you can eat and enjoy nearly anything you wish. Everything from apples to deep-fried anything.
- The components of the implant system are designed for strength. For example, the components of the Maestro System by BioHorizons are manufactured from a biocompatible titanium alloy, which offers a yield strength 65 percent higher than the strongest grade of commercially pure titanium. The maximum bite force of a traditional denture ranges from 5 to 50 pounds. Almost one-third of denture wearers are able to eat only soft or mashed foods, and 50 percent avoid many foods. 17 percent claim that they chew more effectively without dentures! By contrast, patients with implant-supported restorations may increase their bite force by 85 percent within two months of completing treatment, and by 300 percent after three years. Implant-supported dentures and bridges function similarly to natural teeth.
- In addition, dental implants do not have problems with caries (decay), root caries, or hot/cold sensitivity. When you have a dental implant, you can floss and brush as you do with your own teeth. Although they can get gum disease, they often are less susceptible to gum disease than natural teeth.
Do implant procedures cause much pain?
In most cases these procedures produce very little, if any, discomfort. In fact, many patients do not have to use any pain pills. Your decision to use implants can help you to avoid much pain and discomfort in the long term. Given the overall health care benefits, you may not wish to deny yourself proper treatment out of fear of pain. As with any medical or dental procedure, your attending doctor, the dentist, is equipped to provide you with appropriate treatment, including any pain medicines you need.
Are there other kinds of dental implants?
Implants rely on titanium or titanium alloy fixtures inserted into the jawbone. Most implants are made of titanium, which is very effective at fusing with living bone (osseointegration). There are three types of dental implants we usually will discuss with you:
Root Form Implant are the most common and are the ones shown above in the Biohorizons information. This screw type implant is shaped like the root of a tooth. This is the most commonly used implant and is used where there is plenty of width and depth to your jawbone. If your jawbone is too narrow or short for placement of the Root Form implants, bone grafting with either your own bone or tissue bank bone may be needed to allow for their placement. After you've received anesthesia, we will expose an area of your jawbone and prepare the bone for the implant. The number of incisions and bone preparations depend on how many implants you need. The implant will be set into place and your gums are closed with stitches. Although the surgical sites heals quickly, it will take three to six months for the implants to become solidly fused to the bone before before they are restored with teeth. After you've fully healed, your implant is uncovered and an abutment is attached.
If your jawbone is too narrow and not ideal for bone grafting, a Plate Form implant can be placed into your jawbone. The Plate Form implant is unique for this purpose as it has a flat and long shape for a better fit into a narrow jawbone. After you've received anesthesia, your Abbadent cosmetic dentist will expose an area of your jawbone and prepare the bone for the implant. The number of incisions and bone preparations depend on how many implants you need. The implant will be set into place and your gums are closed with stitches. Although the surgical sites heals quickly, it will take three to six months for the implants to become solidly fused to the bone before before they are restored with teeth.
If there's not enough bone width or height for the Root Form or Plate Form implants, the Subperiosteal implant can be recommended on the lower arch. The Subperiosteal implant is custom made to rest on top of your jawbone and under your gums like the Plate Form implant. The method of placement involves your Abbadent dentist making an impression of your jawbone. After you've received anesthesia, your dentist exposes your jawbone and takes an impression of it. The impression is used by a dental laboratory to make a custom-fit implant for your jaw. The next procedure, after your custom-fit implant is created, is to again expose your jawbone and place the implant. Your gums are then closed with stitches and healing takes place while a set of teeth are made to fit onto the implant.
The Panoramic x-ray shows the subperiosteal on the x-ray on the lower jaw. This implant was placed more than 20 years ago by Dr. Richard Downs and is still functioning perfectly. Here is a picture of the implant in the mouth as the framework for the denture to sit on with the four ball attachments. Another picture shows the denture bottom with O rings to snap onto the implant and the last shows the patient with 20 year old dentures in. Donna, the patient, says she loves it and comes to her dental check ups from Texas where she now lives. She says she can eat carrots and apples with no problem. Occasionally I do replace the rubber O rings which takes about two minutes.
Implant in the mouth
Denture Bottom with O Rings
What is the Cost of Dental Implants?
If you wish to have implants done, be sure that you ask your dentist to clarify the different phases of treatment and the associated fees when talking about costs of implants. Most dentists do not do both the surgical placement of implants and the restoration of the teeth on top of the implants. Often the implants are surgically placed by an oral surgeon or a periodontist and then the teeth are constructed and restored by the general dentist after healing has taken place. If this is the case, you will need to get an estimate of fees from both the dental surgeon and the general dentist.
If the dentist does both the surgery and the restoration of the teeth on the implants, you will get a fee that included both procedures. Here at the Abbadent Family & Cosmetic Dentistry we do both the surgical placement of the implants and the restoration of the teeth. We have experience in all three forms of implants and the surgical placement of all three forms, as-well-as the restoration of all three forms. Therefore, the majority of the time we can and will do both phases of treatment. We will also give you an estimate of costs for this care that is comprehensive, including both phases of treatment. Due to the complexity of implant cases, the range of fees is so wide from one person to the next that any quote of fees online would be totally misleading and confusing. This is why we would encourage you to come in for a free consultation, should you be interested.
What if I have further questions?
We expect you will. The more you learn about dental implants, the more questions you may have. You are invited to see us in consultation to have your questions answered. If you have any questions about dental implant treatment please contact us.