Dental Implants

When one or more of your teeth are lost due to periodontal disease or an accident, dental implants can be the best solution if you have an otherwise healthy mouth. Dental implants are titanium posts placed in the jaw bone. With proper care, dental implants can last a lifetime. They can be used in place of a bridge or dentures and will renew a patient’s confidence in their smile as well as their ability to chew and talk without difficulty.

Dental Implants

An X-ray will help your oral surgeon determine if the jawbone is adequate for supporting the titanium posts (implant) that serve as the dental implant’s root. If the jawbone is not thick or wide enough, a bone graft may be necessary to create a more solid base.

If the patient suffers from certain heart conditions or has vascular or orthopedic implants, antibiotics may be prescribed to prevent infection after the dental implants are placed.

Once a thorough diagnosis is made, a personal treatment plan is formulated and reviewed together. An appointment will then be scheduled for the proposed implant surgery. Titanium posts are placed in the patient’s jawbone. The gum tissue heals around the abutment, but leaves the top area open. For those with multiple missing teeth, an implant-supported bridge or denture is used. In some situations, missing teeth can be replaced immediately on the implant while bone and gum tissue heals in preparation for the final, long-term restoration.

The entire dental implant procedure takes approximately three to nine months.

Recovery from Dental Implants

Dental Implant Surgery, done on an outpatient basis, may leave the patient’s gums sore for up to 10 days. Osseointegration occurs as bones grow around the posts, stabilizing the dental implants. Previously worn bridges and dentures must be lined with a soft material that will reduce pressure on the implants.

Eat soft foods, such as pudding or gelatin for 1-2 days after each surgery. Stitches that aren’t self-dissolving should be removed in 10 days.

Contact your oral surgeon if you experience:
• infection
• injury or damage to surrounding area
• numbness or tingling to face and mouth
• sinus problems

The success rate for dental implants which are properly cared for is approximately 98 percent for lower implants and 91 percent for upper implants. The success rates for smokers are significantly lower. As with natural teeth, patients must continue to brush, floss, and visit the dentist regularly. Your oral surgeon will schedule follow-up visits with you to monitor the health of your implant and surrounding teeth and gum areas.

Benefits of Mini Dental Implants

Mini implants are as effective as traditional implants and a smart option for those who meet the requirements. Mini implants can provide a more affordable option, especially when used to secure dentures.

The best way to learn what’s available and best suited for you is to schedule a consultation to receive personalized information. Certain factors such as bone levels must be considered when deciding between traditional or mini implants. At your consultation the doctor will discuss these factors with you and provide guidance as to which type of implant is your best option. In some cases mini implants can be retrofit from your existing dentures. This often makes the procedure much more affordable.

Mini implants are smaller, ranging in size from 1.8mm to 3mm, whereas traditional implants are typically 3.75mm. Because of their smaller size, some say the procedure feels less invasive and is often times a more comfortable experience. During the procedure four small holes are drilled into the tissue of your lower mandible, they’re then fitted and encased in metal housings. The ease of the procedure usually allows for a quicker appointment. Sometimes you can come in and have your mini implant fitted and placed in a single day!

Mini implants are also easy to care for, which helps to ease the transition after installment. There are a few essentials you need to know and practice, but upkeep is extremely simple. Brushing your teeth thoroughly and often is crucial. You want to provide extra attention to the area around your implants when brushing.

In addition to regular, mindful brushing you should schedule checkups every 6 months to ensure the O-rings used to attach your implants are still intact.

With so many benefits, mini implants are a wonderful option for any eligible candidate. Schedule a consultation with one of our doctors to find out if mini implants are right for you.

Helpful links:

http://www.ada.org/2966.aspx?currentTab=1

AAP Dental Implants: Replacement Teeth That Look and Feel Like Your Own