Here at Wimmer Dental, serving the Littleton and Centennial areas, we want you to get to know dental implants. This option can be a very natural looking solution to certain dental issues, and they can be so real looking and feeling that many people forget they even have them. Dental implants can be an excellent and long-lasting way to improve your smile.
What is a Dental Implant?
Dental implants position a synthetic tooth root in a patient’s jaw. This root will be set so that it can hold either a bridge or a replacement tooth. Depending on the number of implants that will be done, a session can be completed in as little as an hour or it can take a few hours. In some cases, the implants may be done over multiple visits.
Dental Implant History
Long before today’s version of dental implants, ancient civilizations performed the first dental implants. Mayans actually were the first to try a version of these procedures. They would use tooth-shaped shells and would insert them into their jaws and gums to allow the jawbone to grow around the pieces to provide sufficient support.
The Modern Implant
Once you get to know dental implants, you’ll see that we’ve come a long way over the years. The modern implant can be a long-lasting solution for your dental issues. At some point though, the implant may wear down and a replacement may be necessary. The average span of dental implants is 10 years. The great thing is that implants can be replaced without needing additional oral surgery. Sometimes, with regular dental care and check-ups, your implant can actually last a lifetime.
Dental implants are often cylindrical shaped posts. They’re made of medical-grade titanium because of the material’s durability and strength. Often the implant is attached to a patient’s jawbone during a surgical procedure. The patient usually receives a regional anesthetic and sedation. Following the surgery, the site of the implants is given time to heal and the implant is given time to fuse with the patient’s jawbone.
Generally, dental implants have three parts to them. The first part is the implant which is kind of like a screw that permanently attaches to your jaw. The second part is the abutment which is like a connector. It is permanent but removable by your dentist. The abutment is what holds the tooth or teeth that are being put into place. The third part is the crown which is the part that looks like a tooth or teeth. This part is generally made out of porcelain or zirconium to provide a durable but natural look.
If you think implants would be a good solution for your dental issues, contact us at Wimmer Dental serving the Littleton and Centennial areas, and get to know dental implants.
Endosteal Dental Implants
This is one of the most common implants. The implant is molded into the shape of a tooth’s root and is placed into a patient’s jawbone. This kind of implant can be done for one or several teeth. It can even be performed for an entire set of teeth. Endosteal implants are available in a variety of sizes allowing your dentist to choose sizes that will look the most natural in your mouth.
There are two parts to this type of implant. In the first step, the dentist creates an implant size hole. For step two, the root part of the implant is inserted into the hole. In general, it can take 3 to 6 months to recover fully from an endosteal dental implant procedure.
For patients with narrow or short jawbones, this plate implants may be a more suitable choice. Plate implants involve a long flat plate inserted; the gums are closed with stitches. The jawbone and gums will grow up around the plate and the crown will be connected to the implant after recovery is complete. Recovery from plate implants can take up to 6 months.
This last type of dental implant is only performed when a plate implant is not possible. Custom-made implants act as artificial jawbone and attach to the patient’s real jawbone, if possible. Subperiosteal implants are fit to rest on top of the patient’s jawbone but under the patient’s gums.
Who Benefits from Implants
Dental implants have increased in popularity over the years because they are effective, strong, and durable. After recovery, people with implants have no lists of food to avoid. This is a clear benefit over options like dentures. The people who may find that implants are a great option include the following:
- Patients with missing or damaged teeth. Dental implant procedures can help improve a patient’s smile. The effect can be natural and healthy looking.
- Patients who may need to have one or more teeth pulled because the tooth is failing.
- Patients who are dissatisfied with their smile.
A patient may not be a candidate for an implant if their jawbone is in poor condition or if the patient’s oral health is too poor. Your dentist will provide information for you about what options would be most suitable for your specific situation.
Once you get to know dental implants, you’ll see that it’s like any other kind of surgery. It comes with a risk of infection. Some patients may experience rejection which is when the body treats the implant like a foreign object. In rare cases, the implant may fail.
Your dentist or oral surgeon can discuss the potential risks of having dental implants. Overall, most patients enjoy having dental implants and are pleased with the end result. This is part of the reason implants have grown in popularity and use.
The cost of an implant procedure will vary depending on your situation and your insurance. Discuss your options with our office to determine what the cost may be for you.
You can get to know dental implants by contacting us for an appointment here at Wimmer Dental serving the Littleton and Centennial areas. We can help you determine if dental implants would be the right solution to improve your smile and correct the oral health issue you may be experiencing.