Replacing missing teeth used to mean fixed bridges, partials, or full dentures. All of these solutions provide improved appearance, chewing ability, and confidence. However, each of these tooth replacement options have one important thing in common. None of them replace the underlying root structures of teeth. That’s why dental implant supported tooth replacement is quickly becoming the preferred treatment option for dentists and patients alike. If you’re missing a single tooth or a full arch of teeth, call Diamond Beach Dental to schedule a dental implant consultation today.
During your consultation visit, Dr. Maslow will carefully examine your jawbone structure, gum tissue health and volume, discuss your current oral and overall health, and other factors including past surgical experiences that help us determine whether or not you’ll be a good candidate for successful dental implant placement. If we determine dental implants are the right choice for you and you feel confident with this treatment option, the implant tooth replacement is completed in two phases.
The first phase of treatment is the surgical placement of dental implant posts below the gum line. The process is relatively simple. Most patients are able to complete this surgical procedure with local anesthesia alone, but those who need multiple implant posts or who experience difficulty numbing, may want to consider additional dental sedation to ensure complete comfort. To begin treatment, we make an incision in the gums and insert the implant post into the jawbone. Once the dental implant posts are in place, patients will need to wait three to six months for the implants to fuse with gum and bone tissue. This process is called osseointegration, and it’s what makes dental implant supported tooth replacement so unique. As the implant fuses with the supportive tooth structures, it mimics the lost root system, creating a natural support for replacement teeth. You will need to come into our office for one or more appointments following placement, so we can assess the progress of your dental implant. We’ll also need to attach abutments to the implant posts that will connect your implant to the replacement tooth or teeth. After this fusion process is completed, patients return to our office where we’ll attach the replacement tooth or teeth to the implants. We use the minimum number of implant posts to securely support the prosthetic teeth.
The most versatile tooth replacement solution we offer, dental implants can be used to replace any number of missing teeth. For a single tooth we will recommend an implant supported dental crown. This is a great alternative option to the more traditional fixed bridge single tooth replacement. Fixed bridges rely on surrounding healthy teeth for support. The replacement tooth is attached to two dental crowns that are affixed to healthy teeth. In order to preserve complete, healthy dental structure, a dental implant supported crown is the best option. The dental crowns are crafted from flawless, natural looking porcelain, so your new tooth will blend seamlessly into the smile line.
For more extensive tooth loss, an implant-retained bridge, partial, or full denture is preferable. Once in place, your implant supported prosthetic will look, feel, and function just like natural teeth. In most cases, we will make the following restoration recommendations:
Your implant supported dental prosthetic should be cared for much like regular healthy teeth. You’ll need to brush your replacement teeth for two minutes at a time twice a day. If you don’t already use a soft or ultra soft bristled toothbrush, you will need to do so in order to avoid damaging your dental prosthetic. We may also recommend you switch to a less abrasive toothpaste. Unless you have a full denture, you will also want to floss each day as usual. For patients with dental implant supported dental restorations, visiting the dentist at least every six months is even more essential. These office visits give us the opportunity to ensure your replacement tooth or teeth are still functioning properly and there has been no change in the fit of the prosthetic.