Consequences of not replacing a missing tooth
Failure to replace a missing tooth can affect the long term bite of your teeth with drifting and tilting of adjacent teeth. This can further lead to difficulties cleaning the area and periodontal (gum) bone loss around affected teeth.
Dental implants are changing the way people live. They are designed to provide a foundation for replacement of teeth which look, feel and function like natural teeth. The person who has lost teeth regains the ability to eat virtually anything, knowing that teeth appear natural and that facial contours will be preserved they can smile with confidence.
What are dental implants?
The implants themselves are titanium posts, which are inserted into the jawbone which teeth are missing. These mental anchors acts as tooth root substitutes. They are surgically placed into the jawbone. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. Small posts are then attached to the implant, which protrudes through the gums. These posts provide stable anchors for artificial replacement teeth.
Implants also help preserve facial structure, preventing the bone deterioration that occurs when teeth are missing.
The surgical procedure
For most patients, the placement of dental implants involves two surgical procedures. First, one or more implants are placed within your jawbone depending on your specific needs. For the first three to six months following surgery, the implants are beneath the surface of the gums gradually bonding with the jaw bone.
Dr. Prab Sandhu performs in surgery implant surgery in a hospital style operating suite, thus optimizing the level of sterility.
After the implant has bonded to the jaw bone, the second phase begins, the implant dentist will uncover the implants and attach small posts which will act as anchors for the artificial teeth. These posts protrude though the gums. Then we can make your new teeth, when the artificial teeth are placed, these posts will be covered by the final crown. The entire procedure usually takes 3-6 months. Every attempt is made to minimize any disruption in normal daily life for the patient during the entire healing phase.
Using the most recent advances in dental implant technology, Dr Sandhu is sometimes able to place single stage implants. These implants do not require a second procedure to uncover them but do require a minimum of four months healing time before placing artificial teeth on them. There are even situations where the implants can be placed at the same time as tooth extraction further minimizing the number of surgical procedures. Advances in dental implant technology have made it possible in selected cases to extract teeth and place implants with crowns at one visit. This process is called ‘Immediate implants’ greatly simplifies the surgical process. Every patient‘s case is treated on an individual basis depending on their needs and desires and the condition of their jawbones.
Implant retained dentures
Implants can be used to secure removable dentures firmly in place. This techniques only requires 2 implants in the lower jaw and a minimum of 4 implants in the upper jaw making it a very cost effective way of securing loose and uncomfortable dentures.
The technique can also be adapted to anchor dentures on the same day as the surgery, as typically a healing time of 3-6 months is required before implants are connected to the overlying denture.This is typically carried out in the lower jaw utilizing 4 implants.
Why dental implants?
Once you learn about dental implants, you finally realize there is a way to improve your life. When you lose several teeth-whether it’s a new situation or something you have lived with for years- chances are you have never become fully accustomed to losing such a vital part of yourself.
Dental implants can be your doorway to renewed self-confidence and peace of mind. A Swedish scientist and orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Per-ingvar Branemark, developed this concept for oral rehabilitation more than thirty-five years ago, with this pioneering research, Dr. Per-ingvar Branemark opened the door to a lifetime of renewed comfort and self-confidence for millions of individuals facing the frustration and embarrassment of tooth loss.
Why would you select dental implants over more traditional types of restorations?
Placement of a fixed bridge to replace one or more adjacent missing teeth requires grinding down the adjacent teeth. If the adjacent teeth are already crowned, it means removing perfectly good fixed prosthetic teeth and replacing them with crowns. Once the fixed bridge is in place it requires threading the dental floss underneath it to properly clean it every day for the rest of your life. Failure to maintain good oral hygiene with this flossing under the bridge will result in decay of the adjacent abutment teeth and eventually failure of the bridge. By placing teeth on an implant there is no need to grind down adjacent teeth or remove existing crowns. A Dental implant is not subject to dental decay and will never need root canal treatment. Implants are made of strong titanium and are not subject to fracture like an old filling or a weakened tooth after a root canal. The only enemy of dental implants is gum disease caused by poor oral hygiene. The same efforts to clean natural teeth to prevent gum disease must be followed to care for dental implants.
Are you a candidate for implants?
If you considering implants, you mouth must be examined thoroughly and you’re medical and dental history reviewed. If your mouth is not ideal for implants, ways of improving outcome, such as bone grafting, may be recommended. Nicotine products and dental implants do not mix. There is a noted increase in implants failures in people who smoke or use chewing tobacco. However we have placed implants in smokers with success if special protocols are followed around surgery time.
What time of anesthesia is used?
The majority of dental implants and bone graft procedures can be performed in the surgery under local anesthesia in conjunction with sedation if required for nervous patients.
Do implants need special care?
Once the implants are in place, they will serve you well for many years if you take care of them and keep your mouth healthy. This means taking time for good oral hygiene (brushing and flossing) and keeping regular appointments with your dental specialists.