Dental Implants | Jacksonville Smile Center
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are important to those suffering from tooth loss. The implants are not attached to neighboring teeth, but rather surgically anchored into the jaw. This allows for a more natural looking tooth with the stability and permanency of a real tooth. Dental implants are synthetic structures that occupy the tooth root which allows a replacement tooth or bridge to be attached. There are numerous benefits of using implants. First, they do not rely on neighboring teeth for support. Next, implants are permanent and stable. Finally, if you suffer from tooth loss, they look and feel like natural teeth. When implants are anchored to the jawbone or metal framework on the bone, they act as a foundation in which an artificial tooth or permanent bridge can be attached. Implants can also be used to attach dentures.
Before dental implants were developed, the only alternative to replacing missing teeth was dentures. Proper bone density and a strong immune system are a must in any candidate considering dental implants. Strict oral hygiene is also required for a continued success of a dental implant. Because of these factors, not everyone is a viable candidate.
In order to prepare the area for the dental implant and placement of the implant into the mouth, surgery is necessary. As with any surgery, the period of time following the procedure requires proper healing for the implant to take hold. The bone tissue surrounding the implant must also be built up in order to anchor the device. During a follow-up visit, the dental care provider may decide that additional metal posts need to be inserted into the implant to connect the tooth. During surgery, anesthesia is administered and, if necessary, antibiotics are given after surgery to stave off infection. Diligent oral hygiene is required for the implants and proper care is a must to ensure that your implants last a long time.
What Are Dental Implants Made Of?
The dental implants are so realistic in their design that many cannot tell that they are not natural teeth. Many implants are made of synthetic materials like metal or ceramic, but are still biocompatible. Titanium is the metal of choice today for most dental implants. Titanium has special qualities that make it the best metal to use for dental implants. Titanium is protected from corrosion due to a thin film it develops on its surface. Resistant to acids, salt solutions, and oxygen, titanium is also extremely strong for its weight and is almost completely nonmagnetic making it the best choice for dental implants.
Are there Different Types of Dental Implants?
There are several types of implants:
- Root-Form Implant - Endosseous or endosteal implants, another name for root-form implants, are placed in the bone. With the look of thick nails, cones, or screws, the width and length varies for each root-form implant. To provide a secure foundation, the bone needs to be wide and deep enough for success of the root-form implant. Based on the quality of the bone in your jaw and crown type, denture or bridge to be placed on the implant, your dentist will decide which type of implant will be best. Commonly, a two-stage process is required for root-form implantation. The traditional placement involved a two-stage procedure where the implant is initially “buried” under the gum tissue. After three or four months, a second surgical procedure exposes the implant. In a single stage procedure, the process occurs all at once with the implantation of the bone and exposure in the mouth
- Ramus-Frame Implant – If the lower jawbone is too thin for a root-form implant, a ramus-frame implant may be used. In this procedure, the implant is embedded near the wisdom teeth in the jawbone. Once the tissue heals, the top of the gum reveals a thin metal bar in which dentures are made to fit. Ramus-frame implants help to stabilize a weak jaw and can help with the prevention of fracturing of the jaw.
- Transosseous Implant – The transosseous implant procedure is rarely used today due to the extensive surgery, general anesthesia and hospitalization required. These implants were originally designed for use in people who had no bottom teeth or very little bone in the lower part of their jaw. Transosseous implants are placed by attaching two metal rods below the chin, through the chin bone, and finally exposing the rods inside the mouth. A denture can then be attached inside the mouth. Since the level of surgery is so extensive with transosseous implants, most dentists prefer to use bone grafts along with an additional endosseous implant method which is equally effective.
- Blade-Form Implant – Also known as plate-form implant, this endosseous (bone placed) implant is used less frequently than the root-form implant. The blade-form implant is a rectangular flat piece of metal with one long side that has one or two metal prongs protruding out from it. Because the blade implant is placed inside the jaw, the prongs stick out into the mouth where a crown or bridge will be supported.
How Long Does the Process Take?
Surgery is performed by your dentist in order to anchor the synthetic root into your jaw bone. Since the procedure is performed in the dental office, local anesthesia is used. The implant remains covered by the gum until it fuses with the jaw bone. After fusion occurs, the dentist uncovers the implant and attaches an extension to the implant. These extensions, or posts, are often placed in the mouth as a single unit during the original surgery. Finally, an artificial crown or tooth, made by the dentist, is attached to the post on the implant.
As with any surgery, each patient heals differently. However, on average, the process can take up to nine months to complete with the initial healing process taking up to six months with an additional two to three months needed for the fitting of replacement teeth. Posts and replacement teeth can be fitted in if a patient has good bone quality.
Does Jacksonville Smile Center Offer Dental Implant Procedures?
Our dedicated team at Jacksonville Smile Center will work with implant specialists to create the perfect implant for missing teeth or to replace a removable appliance. Our professionals go all-out to provide a comfortable, efficient and convenient environment. Our doctor listens and responds when you have a dental problem. When you choose Jacksonville Smile Center, you can be guaranteed a dentist who is knowledgeable in his field and can efficiently diagnose and successfully treat any dental need. Our friendly team will counsel you on the most effective ways to improve your smile. We look forward to creating an individualized treatment plan for your particular dental needs.