Dental Implants An Overview
Many people with a missing tooth, or missing teeth, are opting for dental implants rather than traditional dentures. Dental implants are currently the gold standard of dental care for replacing missing teeth. Dr. Jacob Grapevine offers complete implant dentistry services at his Plano, Texas dental office. Dr. Grapevine works with highly trained, local oral surgeons to complete the surgical portion of the procedure and then personally completes the restoration of the dental implant in the comfort of your dentist office.
Dental implants can offer patients with one, several or a full arch of missing teeth the opportunity to restore a smile that looks and feel as close to natural teeth as possible. Recent advances in the science of both placement and materials have provided improvements in the appearance and long-term health of results. These advances have also opened the door for a wider range of patients.
What is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant actually refers to a titanium post that is placed into the jaw bone to serve as the artificial root for the prosthetic tooth. The dental implant is restored with a dental crown, typically made of porcelain, that will serve as the replacement tooth. Once implanted, the root can support crowns, bridges and permanent dentures. Dental implants can also be used to anchor orthodontic treatments.
The modern dental implant had its start in 1952 and, more recently, to 1969 when the first US patent for titanium dental implants was filed. Dental implants today are shaped like small screws and can be placed as soon as a tooth is extracted with success comparable to those placed into healed bone. Your dentist can decide the best course of option depending on the severity of dental work necessary.
Prior to implants being inserted, your dentist will take radiographs and, on occasion, a CT scan. Your dentist will drill holes into the bone of your jaw with a high speed drill, possibly using a stent to guide the way to proper placement. Your bone will need to grow on to the surface of the implant prior to having a crown or bridge added. This is to ensure stability in your new tooth or teeth.
Healing time after implant surgery will vary from person to person. It can be expected that proper healing will take anywhere from two to six months. Many modern implants are now immediately loaded, meaning the tooth is extracted, the implant is placed and the crown is attached on the same day. Data shows that, in a healthy mouth, success rates are comparable to delayed procedures.
Implants are permanent fixtures in your mouth, require no special cleaning and there is no worry of potential embarrassment caused by them slipping like dentures and flippers are prone to do. Implants are an option for many, but not everyone. You must have good bone structure within your jaw to support the implants. Your dentist can tell you if you are a candidate for dental implants.
Dental Implants What to Expect
Most patients think of dental implants as being a major operation. While there is surgery involved to place the dental implant, the procedure is relatively simple, minimally invasive, with an easy recovery. There is no more natural or permanent solution for missing teeth than dental implants. Dr. Grapevine and his staff strive to answer any questions you might have and make your experience as pleasant as possible.
Placing the Dental Implant
The first step in the dental implants process is to place the dental implant. Typically this is done at the same time the tooth is removed. Dr. Grapevine coordinate treatment with a local oral surgeon or periodontist to specify the location of the dental implant placement to ensure optimal results.
Patients typically experience some tenderness a the implantation site in the days and week following the dental implant placement. The initial healing is quick and the extended healing where the dental implant integrates with the bone, called osseointegration, takes about 3 to 6 months.
Preparing the Final Restoration
During the healing process, many things will be taking place. Dr. Grapevine will take an impression of the surrounding teeth to create a dental crown that will attach to the dental implant and serve as the prosthetic tooth.
Depending on the location of the missing tooth, a temporary crown may be placed on the dental implant while the healing process is taking place. The temporary tooth will hold the place of the final restoration and promote proper healing along the gum tissue.
The dental crown will be made of porcelain, fabricated by a dental laboratory that specializes in making dental crowns for dental implants.
Once the dental implant has completely healed and integrated to the bone, Dr. Grapevine will place the final restoration in his Plano, TX dentist office. The dental crown will be fastened and secured to the dental implant for a permanent fit.
Using a T-Scan Digital Bite Analysis, Dr. Grapevine will check the fit and force of the dental implant to ensure that it is placed properly. Improper fit is the number one cause for dental implant failure. This extra step combined with the comprehensive case planning ensures that Dr. Grapevine’s dental implant cases are highly successful.
Caring for Dental Implants
One of the greatest benefits of dental implants is that they look, function, and can be cared for just like natural teeth. Dental implants are designed to last a lifetime. You don’t have to worry about getting cavities in dental implants, plus, you can eat and floss normally with dental implants.
Types of Dental Implants
Dr. Jacob Grapevine offers many different options for dental implants and can help you choose which is best for your situation. Dental implants can be used to replace one, several or all of a person’s missing teeth.
Dental implants may be used to support a dental bridge, partial or full denture. Mini dental implants are also an option for some patients with multiple missing teeth.
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