A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is placed into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge. Dental implants may be an option for people who have lost a tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease, an injury, or some other reason.
Endosteal Dental Implants
Endosteal (in the bone) is the most commonly used type of implant. It usually includes a titanium screw or cylinder surgically placed into the jawbone. Each implant holds one or more prosthetic teeth. This type of implant is generally used as an alternative for patients with bridges or removable dentures who have sufficient amount/height of jawbone left. The ideal candidate for a dental implant is in good general and oral health. Adequate bone in your jaw is needed to support the implant, and the best candidates have healthy gum tissues that are free of periodontal disease.
Dental Implants Procedures
Your dentist will examine you to determine where and how your implant should be placed. Depending on your specific condition and the type of implant chosen, your dentist will create a treatment plan tailored to meet your needs. Your dental implant treatment plan may include one or more of the following:
- Replacing a single tooth: if you are missing a single tooth, one implant and a crown can replace it.
- Replacing several teeth: if you are missing several teeth, implant-supported bridges can replace them.
- Replacing all of your teeth: if you are missing all of your teeth, an implant-supported full bridge or full denture can replace them.
- Sinus augmentation: a key to implant success is the quantity and quality of the bone where the implant is to be placed. The upper back jaw has traditionally been one of the most difficult areas to successfully place dental implants due to insufficient bone quantity and quality and the close proximity to the sinus. Sinus augmentation can help correct this problem by raising the sinus floor and developing bone for the placement of dental implants.
- Ridge modification: deformities in the upper or lower jaw can leave you with inadequate bone in which to place dental implants. To correct the problem, the gum is lifted away from the ridge to expose the bony defect. The defect is then filled with bone or bone substitute to build up the ridge. Ridge modification has been shown to greatly improve appearance and increase your chances for successful implants that can last for years to come.
After treatment, your dentist will develop the best care plan for you. Periodic follow-up visits will be scheduled to monitor your implant, teeth and gums to make sure they are healthy. Dental implants are like your own teeth and will require the same care. In order to keep your implant clean and plaque-free, brushing and flossing are still needed.
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