Dental Implant

Dental Implant | Access Oral Surgery

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants serve as titanium-based root substitutes, carefully inserted into the jawbone where teeth are absent. These anchors function similarly to natural tooth roots. Over time, the jawbone fuses with the titanium, forming a robust base for synthetic teeth. The duration of this process varies from a few weeks to several months, depending on the implant type and the strength of your jawbone at the time of placement. Once the implants are prepared for restoration, small posts are connected to them, offering stable foundations for the artificial teeth. Dental implants also contribute to maintaining facial structure by preventing the bone loss that occurs when teeth are missing.

Advantages of Dental Implants

Dental implants offer a transformative experience. Losing multiple teeth can be a significant life change, and it’s likely that you’ve never fully adjusted to this loss. Dental implants can restore your self-assurance and offer a functional way to eat. They are often preferred over other restorative options like bridges or partial dentures. In the case of a bridge, additional teeth would need to be altered. Partial dentures can be cumbersome to remove and clean, and they may slip, causing discomfort and embarrassment. Since dental implants integrate with your jawbone, post-procedure recovery is generally associated with minimal discomfort.

Types of Dental Implants

Single Tooth Implants

For those missing just one tooth, a dental implant is an excellent permanent solution. The implant mimics your natural tooth in its entirety, from root to crown. Once a custom-made tooth is crafted and affixed to the implant, you’ll have a durable, natural-looking replacement.

Implant-Supported Bridges

If you’re missing several teeth in a sequence, an implant-supported bridge could be your ideal solution. This treatment involves placing two or more implant posts at either end of the gap, serving as anchors. A series of artificial teeth are then connected to each other and attached to the implant posts, filling the gap without requiring an individual implant for each missing tooth.

Implant-Retained Dentures

For those missing a large number of teeth, implant-retained dentures offer a more stable and comfortable alternative to traditional dentures. These dentures are anchored to strategically positioned dental implants in your jaw, providing a more permanent solution.

Implant Placement Procedure Guidelines

The implant placement typically involves one or two surgical steps. Initially, the implants are carefully inserted into your jawbone. This can be done either when teeth are being extracted or in already vacant sites. Over the next two to four months, depending on the implant type, the implants will gradually fuse with the jawbone, creating a stable base for the future artificial teeth. Temporary dentures may be worn during this time, and you can gradually return to a regular diet.

In the second phase, the implant is exposed, and a small healing abutment is attached in preparation for the artificial teeth. These posts will be hidden once the synthetic teeth are in place. The entire treatment usually spans three to six months, causing minimal disruption to daily activities. Implants can sometimes be placed right after the tooth extraction, reducing surgery time. Technological advancements have even made it possible for some front teeth to be extracted and implanted with temporary crowns in one visit.

Post-treatment, maintaining your dental implants is straightforward: regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups are all that’s required. Your personalized treatment options will be discussed during your consultation with Dr. McKinney.

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