Restoration - Dental Implants
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is placed in the bone and holds an fake tooth to replace a missing tooth. Implants are an alternative to dentures and dental bridges. Implants replace both the teeth and their missing roots whereas a denture only replaces the tooth. An implant looks like a screw and is made of titanium which is biocompatible and not rejected by the body. The bone grows in closely around the titanium dental implant , making it a part of the bone tissue.
If you need more than one tooth replaced you can have two or more implants. Five to six implants can hold an entire arch of teeth — upper or lower. 10 to 16 dental implants can hold a mouthful of new teeth.
A dental implant provides a permanent solution to a missing tooth and gives the replacement tooth a very strong foundation in the jawbone, just as a natural root does. If the missing tooth's root is not replaced the jaw bone sinks in where the tooth used to be and shrinks the bone. This is called bone resorption. This is why people look older who wear dentures the bone shrinkage changes the entire profile of your face and jaw line.
Typically your dentures can become loose when your jaw bone shrinks. This makes your face look older as your gums slowly recede away from your teeth. Dental implants are permanent and give allow you to bite and chew efficiently.
Do Dental Implants restore just one tooth or many teeth?
Dental implants can hold more than one tooth in what we call a dental bridge or hold just one tooth in what we call a dental crown. If you would like to have multiple teeth replaced using dental implants, it can be done in a customized way for you.
- Two or three implants can support a dental bridge as it will span over the missing tooth
- Five to Six implants can support all the teeth in your upper or lower dental arch
- Ten to Twelve mplants can replace all the teeth in your entire mouth
You can also choose between a fixed dental bridge or a hybrid dental bridge that snaps onto the implant abutments. These options are all something to discuss with Dr. Richard Sun in the interest of keeping costs down.
How is a dental implant done?
During your consultation with Dr. Sun and you will decide on the best treatment options for your dental implants. The procedures can be done in two visits. The first visit we will place the dental implant and then the post with a temporary tooth on top. However in many cases this can be done in one visit using a procedure called "Teeth in a Day".
- In a dental procedure, Dr. Richard Sun places the implant. The titanium implant is perfectly positioned in the correct angle which allows for an easy time when placing the permanent tooth in. 3months is the typical healing time but you will be wearing a beautiful provisional tooth at that time.
- Osseo-integration occurs during this time which allows the bone to become one with the dental implant.
- Once the bone integration has occurred around the implant, Dr. Sun will screw inside the dental implant a abutment or post so that a dental crown can hold in place over it.
- Your new dental crown which is custom made by our laboratory is cemented or screwed to the abutment.
Does the implant procedure hurt?
Believe it or not, there are no nerves in the bone. Single implant dental procedures take one hour to accomplish and most are routine procedures. Dr. Sun can prescribe pain medication to ease any post-operative discomfort.
The healing period after your implant is very simple in most cases. Most people have little or no post-operative discomfort. Dr. Sun will give you printed instructions for how to care for yourself during recovery.
Caring for Dental Implants!
Since the dental implant is hidden under the bone, it requires no care. You take care of the exposed part of the dental implant no different than your natural teeth - daily brushing and flossing to remove bacteria and food particles. If you come for your regular check-ups and professional cleaning, and practice good daily hygiene, your implant will serve you well indefinitely.
Dental implants are a permanent way to restore missing teeth. If you have been living with missing teeth or living with dentures that never quite seem to feel right, implants can give you a new quality of life that is much improved.
At NOVA Dental, we have a friendly and knowledgeable team and comfortable facility. If you would like to schedule a personal consultation with Dr. Sun, please feel free to contact us today!