If you have lost a tooth, several teeth, or even all of your teeth, you can replace them with dental implants. Many of the patients we see here at Everglades Family Dental opt for implants over dentures or other tooth replacement options because of the benefits they offer. While implants may not necessarily be right for everyone, they are a great solution that many of our patients can take advantage of.
How Do Dental Implants Work?
A dental implant is a permanent addition to your mouth that replaces a lost tooth or teeth. When you come in for an implant, we will place a titanium post in the space where the tooth was. This post will be based in your jawbone and come up through the gums. On top of this post is an abutment that provides support for the crown, which is your actual replacement tooth. Once the implant is done, the only thing you or anyone else will see is the crown. The post and abutment are completely hidden. The crown is typically made from porcelain or another durable material that looks like a natural tooth, so few people will recognize an implant as being artificial.
Types of Dental Implants
There are three different options for dental implants. For a single missing tooth, you can get a single implant. On the other hand, if you are missing several teeth in a row, we may be able to replace them with a set of implants that functions like a traditional bridge. Rather than have a single post for each tooth, several teeth are supported with a post on either end.
The third type of dental implants is called All-on-4 implants. Here, four posts support a full arch of teeth. This solution is for those who need to have all of their teeth replaced. By supporting all of your upper or lower teeth on four posts, the procedure is much faster and easier. Your mouth can heal more quickly, and the cost is lower because you only need four posts.
The Implant Procedure
Implants require you to come in several times before the entire procedure is finished. First, we will do an initial consultation to determine if implants will work for you. We will take x-rays to see if your jawbone is dense enough to support the posts. If it is not, we may be able to graft bone from other parts of your body there to strengthen the jaw. It can take up to six months for the grafted bone to fully fuse with the jaw before we can continue. At this time, we may also extract any teeth that need to be removed.
Once we have determined that the jaw can support implants, we will take measurements of your mouth and any remaining teeth. We will use this information to create your implants.
When you are fully healed from any prerequisite procedures, you will come in to have the posts implanted. You will be under anesthesia during this process. Once the posts have been placed, it can take several months to fully heal. During this time, the metal posts actually fuse with the bone. Once this is done, we can place the abutments and crowns. In some cases, we can even do one-day implants. It depends on your health and other factors.
Interested in implants? If you would like to know more or want to discuss whether or not you are a good candidate, contact Everglades Family Dental at (754) 764-0465.