The Secret For Replacing Missing Teeth: Dental Implants
Dental implants, probably in the last 10 years of my career, have become very important. Anytime I have to take my hand-piece and work on somebody’s tooth, we traumatize it. If we can just fill in where a tooth is missing, and not have to attach it to teeth on either side as in a bridge, then basically the percentages are very high that those teeth will not have any problems in the future. But they could have problems if we use a bridge.
When we use an implant, people don’t realize, as soon as you put implants in, especially if somebody’s completely edentulous, when you have an upper-denture and a lower-denture, a lower-denture basically means you’re a dental-cripple. It does not work because it lays there like it lays on a flat table. An upper-denture works pretty good because there’s suction. The only problem with that, as soon as you remove people’s teeth, the bone starts resorbing. When you put implants in, the bone will quit resorbing so you keep the bone in your upper and your lower jaw.
The lower jaw, like I was stating, is basically you have to hold it down with your tongue, and trying to chew holding a piece of plastic down with your tongue is very difficult. Right now, we use implants and there’s different types.
We use full-size implants, and we use mini-implants. You can place four mini-implants in the lower anterior, and the denture can actually function. They can eat nuts and salads again, which they haven’t been able to do in years.
Implants have really, as far as meeting people’s expectations, and one of the bigger things is the cost has come down. The implant companies have consolidated, so we have different types that we can offer because at one time the only reason people didn’t get implants was the cost. The cost is coming down greatly.
When we place them in somebody, and as long as they keep them clean, it’s the closest thing that we have to a natural tooth is replacing somebody’s tooth with an implant. Our multiple implants where we actually, if somebody’s missing their complete teeth, we’ll actually make a horseshoe type thing and screw it in to those implants, and it doesn’t come out. It’s like their natural teeth.
No one wants to have a big empty space in their smile left behind by a tooth that fell out. Things look even worse if you’ve got several teeth missing. Do you really want to show people that you’re missing teeth? Besides, missing teeth can make it harder for you to eat the foods you love and increase your risk of bone loss and gum disease. That’s why our Boone, NC dentist Dr. Steven Airey has a long-lasting solution: dental implant.
How Can I Replace A Missing Tooth?
There are a few ways to replace your missing tooth, but a dental implant is usually the most permanent. This device has three parts: a titanium root, an abutment, and a replacement tooth.
- Because your natural teeth have roots that go down into the jawbone, a dental implant uses an artificial root to do the same. It’s made from titanium because your body doesn’t reject that type of metal.
- The replacement tooth is custom-made for where the gap is in your smile, meaning it will look and feel completely natural once placed. It will even be matched to the color of your adjacent teeth.
- An abutment is a small piece that connects the titanium root to your replacement tooth. This way, if the replacement tooth needs to be taken out for some reason, the root can stay where Dr. Steven Airey implanted it.
Dental implants are as close as you can get to growing your tooth back.
How Does A Dental Implant Procedure Work?
The procedure is straightforward, and Dr. Airey has done it many times. First, our team will get the area clean and prepared. Then, Dr. Airey will make a small opening in your gum and jawbone where the implant will go. The titanium root is placed tightly in the bone and given a few months to heal. (This also lets the bone tissue fuse with the titanium, making sure that the implant isn’t going anywhere.)
While that’s healing, we will have a replacement tooth made that will fit that spot: a molar for a molar, for example. When the implant site is healed, Dr. Airey will place the abutment on the implant and then the replacement tooth to the abutment.
How Can You Be Sure I’m A Good Candidate For Dental Implants?
In order to safely implant that titanium root, we need to make sure your jawbone is thick and healthy enough to hold it. If the bone there is weak, placing the implant could fracture your jawbone or fail altogether. That’s why we have the revolutionary Galileos three-dimensional imaging unit. This device will create a 3-D image of your jaw and teeth, letting Dr. Steven Airey know whether you’re a good candidate for a dental implant.
What Are Mini Dental Implants?
If the Galileos imaging unit shows it’s not safe to place a dental implant, we can sometimes use mini dental implants instead. These still have a titanium root and custom-made replacement tooth, but they are much smaller. A mini implant is great if you need to replace a thinner tooth like an incisor. Not every tooth can be replaced with mini dental implants, so Dr. Steven Airey will discuss your options with you.
Can Implants Help Dentures Stay Put?
If you have several teeth to replace, or even all the teeth on the top or bottom, Appalachian Dental Care has you covered with dentures.
- Partial dentures replace several teeth in a row. But you need some natural teeth still there, as the denture uses clasps attached to those teeth to hold it in place.
- Full dentures replace a full arch of teeth on the top or bottom (or both). They are molded to fit over your gums and use a special adhesive to stay put.
- Implant-supported and implant-retained dentures use dental implants to make sure the dentures stay where they belong.
- All-on-4 dental implants also use implants to hold onto a full arch of replacement teeth, but two implants are angled differently to provide more support.
- And for those who are looking to restore their smile quickly, our Same-Day Smile treatment can transform your smile in a single visit.
How Can Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Improve My Dental Implant Experience?
Recovering from oral surgery just got a lot easier with PRP. Though this treatment has been used for years in other medical fields, it is new to dentistry. For patients who qualify, the process is simple. All you need to do is give us a small blood sample. We will use that sample to concentrate blood platelets that contain the growth factor. After your procedure, Dr. Steven Airey will apply your own PRP to the wound, which will promote faster and more comfortable healing after a dental implant is placed. We can use PRP in other dental procedures as well, like bone grafting, bone repair, and fistula repair.
We want you to have a healthy smile that lets you eat normally again, which is why we offer different options to replace missing teeth. But if you want a beautiful, long-lasting way to do that, dental implants could be your best bet. To learn more about our dental implants or to schedule your next appointment, give us a call today at 828-355-5673 or use our online form.
- Anita K.VIEW MORE PATIENT TESTIMONIALS