Before development of dental implants, bridges, removable partial dentures and dentures were the only alternatives to replacing a missing tooth or teeth. Implants are synthetic structures that are placed in the area of the tooth normally occupied by the root. Implants are anchored to the jawbone and act as a foundation for an artificial tooth or perrmanent bridge. In some cases, implants can be used to attach,stabilize and retain dentures.
Implants are so well-designed, they mimic the look and feel of natural teeth. Implants are usually made of titanium.
In general, good candidates who have dental implants can expect high success rates of 97% with the procedure.
The procedure can take 3-4 visits over 4-6 months. During a follow-up visit, an artificial, natural-looking tooth is fitted over the implanted anchor.
Various types of implants include single tooth, multiple teeth, full upper or lower teeth replacement:
Single tooth or multiple teeth replacement:
- Extracted tooth root or previous missing tooth root is replaced with implant.
- Stability of implant is evaluated with Ostell at insert, and if primary stability is acceptable, temporary crown is attached. If stability is below acceptable standards, then healing period of 4-6 months is required.
- Replacement tooth is affixed to the implant and extension.
Full upper or lower replacements:
- Missing tooth roots are replaced with implants.
- Stability of implant is evaluated with Ostell at insert, and if primary stability is acceptable, replacement fixed bridge is attached or dentures attached to improve retention and function.
- If implant stability at insert is below acceptable standards, then healing period of 4-6 months is required.
- Replacement teeth are affixed to the implants and extensions.