Dental implants are a permanent solution to replace missing teeth. In most cases, dental implants are superior to other alternatives like bridges or removable dentures. Bridges require alterations to the tooth structure of healthy teeth for support and dental implants do not require it. Removable dentures have numerous disadvantages in terms of comfort, esthetic appeal and hygienic complications and maintenance. The American Academy of Implant Dentistry defines dental implants as artificial tooth roots that are shaped like a screw. The implant is placed in the jawbone so it can integrate with the natural bone. The implant becomes the sturdy base which will support the crown. An abutment or 'connector' is placed on top of the dental implant to hold and support the crown. The restoration is the final process which is when the crown is custom made to match the existing teeth. Dr. Adams has been restoring implants for many years by creating the most natural looking and functional result for patients.
Types of Dental Implants
There are two types of implants which are called Endosteal and Subperiosteal. Endosteal implants are usually made of titanium and look like tiny screws. They are the most commonly used implants which are placed in the jawbone. Subperiosteal are dental implants that are placed under the gum but not inside the jawbone. This application is reserved for patients who may not have enough healthy natural jawbone and cannot or do not want to undergo a bone augmentation procedure to rebuild it.
Techniques for Building Bone
When the jawbone is not able to support the implant, there are techniques that can be applied to restore the jawline to allow the implant to be properly supported.
- Bone augmentation: involves regenerating the bone in the jaw using various procedures and processes to fortify the bone.
- Ridge expansion: When the jaw isn’t wide enough to support dental implants, bone graft material can be added to a space or ridge along the top of the jaw.
- Sinus lift: This procedure may also be called sinus elevation or sinus augmentation. Bone is added below the sinus where the natural bone has deteriorated due to missing teeth.
Alternative Dental Implant Techniques
There are other treatment options available depending on the needs of the patient which may include:
- All-on-4: This is an alternative to placing a top or bottom set of replacement teeth. Four dental implants are placed in the available bone in order to avoid bone grafting. Special abutments are used so a temporary set of replacement teeth can be placed the same day. Patients will need to follow a modified diet until the gum tissues heal and the implants bond to the natural bone. After approximately six months, the permanent replacement teeth will need to be placed. After this procedure is completed, a normal diet can be resumed.
- Immediate Load Dental Implants: This procedure is also called “Same Day implants” or “Teeth in a Day”. Immediate Load Dental Implants allow the placement of the temporary tooth during the same appointment as the dental implant placement. Techniques such as this are more conducive when there is enough natural bone and an implant is secure enough to support immediate placement and pressure on the new temporary tooth.
- Mini Dental Implants (MDIs): MDIs are narrow diameter implants which are around the size of a toothpick. This procedure involves less invasive techniques and are used primarily to stabilize a lower denture.
For the majority of dental implant procedures, the entire implant process is performed over the course of a few months. The first step is for the dentist to place the implant into the jawbone through a small incision. Multiple implants can be placed at once depending on the needs of the patient. After the implants are placed, the gums are sutured.
The implant must be allowed about 3-6 months to heal, and during this time the bone will form around the implant in a process called osseointegration. During this healing time, temporary crowns can be placed so that you can eat and speak normally and maintain a proper aesthetic appearance for your smile. After the implant has integrated, it is time to place an abutment on the implant. The abutment serves as the base for your new tooth. Once this is placed, an impression of the abutment is taken and it is used to create a permanent restoration. When the final restoration is fabricated, return to the office for placement. Your smile will look just like it used to, and after a short period of getting used to the implant it will feel just like one of your own teeth.
Whether you are missing one tooth, several teeth or all your teeth, dental implants are the preferred choice by dentists and patients alike.
Implant Dentistry gives patients a second chance for a youthful smile that wouldn’t be possible without this procedure. Implants can allow patients the opportunity to continue on with their lives without worrying about a removable appliance or denture. Accidents and sports injuries no longer restrict patients to alternatives that may limit their appearance or lifestyle. Dr. Adams takes great satisfaction restoring implants to a functional and esthetic smile. He has the expertise, experience and aptitude to create the smile you have always wanted.
Timothy C. Adams, DDS, D.ACSDD, LVIM has over 35 years in restorative (Cosmetic Dentistry) which allows him to provide patients with the most natural looking teeth. Restoring implants using the best technology offers, gives patients the kind of smile they want and deserve.
Dr. Adams has been involved with thousands of veneers, crowns and bridge cases due to his extensive background training dentists and their teams. His work has been published in over 21 articles and in the prestigious Dental Clinics of North America. The requirements to publish in most peer reviewed journals require exceptional skills in restorative and cosmetic dentistry.
Seeing one patient at a time has been the hallmark for Timothy C. Adams, DDS, D.ACSDD, LVIM. The office is located in Carmel, IN which is easily accessible to the entire Indianapolis area.
Dentist Carmel, IN