Missing Teeth? Everything You Need To Know about the Dental Implant Procedure

Wednesday, May 8, 2019
Missing Teeth? Everything You Need To Know about the Dental Implant Procedure

Dental Implants Promote Good Oral Health for Years to Come

Are you thinking about having a dental implant procedure, or perhaps have already made the decision to do so? For some people, the thought of having an implant surgically placed can seem intimidating. But it doesn’t have to be. Learn all about what a dental implant procedure entails and how it promotes good oral health in the long term!

Why Do People Get Dental Implants?

People opt for dental implants to replace missing teeth that have been removed, whether because of injury or infection. Instead of wearing removable dentures, the patient can have an implant custom-fitted for them. Candidates must have good gum tissue that has not been affected by periodontal disease. That’s because the success of a dental implant procedure largely depends on the health of the gum tissues and underlying bone.

If you wait too long to place the implant after tooth loss or removal, the surgery may become impossible due to teeth shifting. When a gap is left in the mouth, the teeth gradually shift over towards the gap, shrinking the area available for the implant. While this shifting process does address the problem of an uneven dental structure, it cannot protect you from jaw bone loss.

Bone loss is the biggest problem associated with missing teeth. The jaw bone needs to be used in order to stay healthy. When a tooth is absent, the immune system senses that part of the jaw is no longer necessary to the body and begins to break down the bone. Bone recession can lead to more lost teeth, cause difficulties in enunciation and chewing, and give the face a collapsed appearance. Dental implants will help you to maintain the integrity of your jaw bone, and help your smile remain healthy for years to come!

What Exactly Is a Dental Implant?

A dental implant consists of an artificial tooth root that is anchored to the jaw. A false tooth is then screwed into the implant, where it becomes indistinguishable from the other teeth. A dental implant will also function as well as any of your natural teeth.

Dental implant surgery is well-established as an effective treatment for missing teeth. With a 95-99% success rate, the implant procedure is an effective and safe treatment option. Like any dental restoration, duration of the implant depends on the patient’s maintenance habits. While the false teeth cannot develop a cavity, it is important to keep the surrounding gums and teeth clean to ensure continuing oral health.

What Types of Dental Implants Are Available?

dental implant procedure

There are two major types of dental implants: endosteal and subperiosteal. Most people will choose endosteal because of its higher success rate and effectiveness. People who are unable to have an endosteal implant may be candidates for a subperiosteal implant.

Endosteal (in the bone): This type of implant is typically used as a more permanent option for patients who would otherwise be eligible for removable dentures or bridges. It is the most common implant type and may include screws, cylinders, or blades placed surgically into the jawbone. Each one holds one (or more) artificial teeth.

Subperiosteal (on the bone): This kind of implant is chosen for patients who have jaw bone loss and cannot wear conventional dentures. The implant sits on top of the bone, resulting in a shorter recovery time because the bone and implant do not need to fuse together. However, because failure rates are also higher for subperiosteal implants, they are a less popular alternative.

What Should I Expect from a Dental Implant Procedure?

You and your student dentist will decide on a customized treatment plan that addresses your particular needs. Penn Dental Medicine takes an individualized approach to implant treatment, offering a range of options including single implants, multiple implants, full-arch implants, and implant-supported dentures:

  • Single implants: If you’re missing one tooth, it can be replaced by an implant and a healing cap (crown).
  • Multiple implants: If you’re missing several teeth, you can replace each with an implant for the best possible jaw health.
  • Full-arch implants: Another approach for someone with multiple missing teeth is a fixed bridge anchored to dental implants. This treatment provides a permanent, stable, and aesthetic solution.
  • Implant-supported dentures: Implants can also serve as the base for a fixed denture, which is an excellent option for people with teeth missing in the top and the bottom.

The exact steps of your dental implant procedure may vary, but the process tends to look something like this:

  1. Dental exam. Your student dentist will perform a comprehensive examination to diagnose the problem and develop a treatment plan. This will likely include several imaging tests, such as dental X-rays.
  2. Mouth modelling. PDM’s computer-aided dental implant technology allows us to create an image that perfectly represents your mouth in order to manufacture a custom restoration. No molds are taken when you seek treatment at PDM.
  3. Anesthesia. General or local anesthesia will be administered at the beginning of the surgical procedure.
  4. Removal. The damaged or diseased teeth are extracted, when necessary.
  5. Jaw preparation. In certain cases, bone grafting will be required as preparation for the surgery.
  6. Implantation. The dental implant anchor is attached to the jawbone, where it will fuse together over a period of several months.
  7. Implant abutment. After the gum tissue has healed from the implant surgery, the false tooth (or abutment) will be placed on the dental implant.

Seek Expert Implant Treatment

If you’re looking for high quality, affordable dental implants, we encourage you to make an appointment at Penn Dental Medicine. When accepted into our program, you will receive treatment performed by student dentists at a reduced rate. To schedule your implant consultation, please call 215-898-8965 today!

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