More than 120 million Americans are missing at least one adult tooth.
If you’re one of them and considering your replacement teeth options, talk to the team of expert oral and maxillofacial surgeons at Fairfield Oral Surgery and Implantology, in Fairfield, California, about implant dentistry.
Dental implants are a durable, natural-looking tooth-replacement option.
Call the practice or make an appointment online today.
WHAT ARE DENTAL IMPLANTS?
Dental implants are a popular and effective way to replace missing teeth.
They are false teeth made of a medical-grade titanium post, a dental crown, and an abutment that connects the two pieces.
Your oral surgeon implants the titanium post directly into your jaw, where it functions just like a natural tooth root.
Not only does it support the visible portion of your “tooth,” but it also stimulates healthy bone development in your jaw.
WHAT ARE ALL-ON-4 DENTAL IMPLANTS?
All-on-4 dental implants, also called hybrid dentures, consist of a full arch of artificial teeth. They can be secured to your jaw with just four artificial tooth roots.
You may decide to use hybrid dentures if you have multiple teeth that need replacing, such as when replacing your full set of teeth.
The advantage of hybrid dentures is that they can be fitted in a much shorter time.
Placement of individual implants can take several months when replacing all your teeth. On the other hand, our surgeons can usually place your All-on-4 dental implants in a single day.
CAN ANYONE GET DENTAL IMPLANTS?
If there are no issues preventing you from having a routine tooth extraction or any other oral surgery, then you would likely be able to go through with the dental implants procedure.
You should also have healthy gums and sufficient bone density to support the implant. It’s expected that after dental implant surgery you will maintain good oral hygiene and schedule regular dental visits.
If you smoke or suffer from uncontrolled chronic disorders, such as diabetes or heart disease, or have had radiation therapy to the head/neck area, then you will need to be evaluated on an individual basis.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF DENTAL IMPLANTS?
Dental implant treatment is regarded by most dental specialists to be the most beneficial tooth-replacement procedure.
The oral surgeons at Fairfield Oral Surgery in Fairfield, CA, highlight several reasons to choose dental implants.
Some of these include:
Dental implants are made to have the appearance of natural teeth. The implant screw integrates into the bone structure, therefore preventing it from slipping around.
The result is that your teeth won’t move out of shape on your face. The skin will be supported too, avoiding the sunken look that accompanies missing teeth.
Dental implants give a stable structure for you to make sounds when you speak. Because a removable denture moves, it often causes a person to mumble or slur their words.
Removable dentures can sometimes slip and move around in the mouth, causing a measure of discomfort. On the other hand, dental implants don’t move, therefore, providing greater comfort.
You are not limited to soft foods with dental implants. Their strength is comparable to your natural teeth.
Being too embarrassed to smile can knock our confidence. With dental implants, you will want to show off your pearly whites at any opportunity.
Improved Oral Health
Choosing dental implants can result in comparable long-term oral health benefits.
For example, using a tooth-supported bridge will sometimes require that you reduce other teeth. Whereas your adjacent teeth will be unaffected when fitting a dental implant.
The dental implant will fit in a way that you can still have space to floss, allowing you to maintain good oral hygiene.
Most dental implants have the potential to last a lifetime. While the price may be higher initially, you won’t need to worry about replacing them after a few years.
Removable dentures require a lot of maintenance.
On the other hand, once dental implants are fit, they don’t need to be removed or require adhesives to hold them in place. You can continue to care for them just like your natural teeth.
Prevents Bone Loss
Bone density drops when you are missing teeth due to a lack of stimulation to the jawbone. A dental implant will restore the stimulus to the surrounding bone, stimulating bone growth.
If you would like to enjoy the benefits that dental implants can bring, then call the Fairfield Oral Surgery office or book an appointment online.
WHAT’S THE PROCESS FOR GETTING DENTAL IMPLANTS?
Dental implants usually require several appointments.
During your initial consultation, your oral surgeon examines your teeth and jaw and takes dental X-rays and bone scans. In order to check your bone height, density, and structure, a CBCT scan may be performed. They need to see that your jaw is strong enough to support an implant.
If your jaw is deteriorating or showing signs of weakness, your surgeon may recommend a bone graft to strengthen your jaw before starting the implantation process.
The surgeon will often perform a bone graft when the implant is going to replace a missing tooth in the maxilla (upper jaw) towards the back of the mouth.
The location of the maxillary sinus (air-filled space found in the bones of the face) means that generally there is insufficient bone there. A small surgical procedure called a sinus lift raises the sinus floor, and bone is grafted into the sinus.
Another option your dental specialist may choose if your bone structure is limited is to use small-diameter implants or mini-implants.
When your surgeon is satisfied that your jaw can support an implant, they begin the implantation process.
The first step is to surgically implant the titanium posts in your jaw. This can be done with the use of a local anesthetic.
While the implantation surgery is relatively quick, you have to wait several months to allow the post to bond with your jawbone in a process called osseointegration.
During the next step, your surgeon attaches the abutment and takes images and impressions of your surrounding teeth and the abutment. Those details are used to custom-make a crown to fit in with your remaining natural teeth.
The final step is to attach the crown, check your bite and alignment, and buff the crown until it shines like a natural tooth.
FOLLOW-UP AND AFTERCARE
Once your dental implant has been fitted, you will need to prevent the gum tissue and bone surrounding the implant from becoming inflamed.
Inflammation around the implant is called peri-implantitis. The condition is similar to periodontal disease, which affects natural teeth.
It may develop either through excessive biting forces on the implant or through infection. Peri-implantitis has caused some to lose their dental implant.
You can prevent this from happening by keeping a good schedule of cleaning at home and follow-up visits at the dental office. You only need to brush your teeth, as normal, and floss. This will keep your implant clean by removing food particles and plaque.
When cleaning all-on-4 dental implants, though, you will need more tools in order to remove debris in those hard-to-reach places.
At the dental office, the oral surgeons will check the soft and hard tissues around the implant site and remove harder calcified deposits.
You can also have your bite alignment adjusted if the implant needs protecting from heavy biting forces.
If you’re missing a tooth or several teeth, contact Fairfield Oral Surgery and Implantology today to find out if dental implants are right for you.
WHAT ARE DENTAL IMPLANTS MADE OF?
Dental implants consist of three parts.
The foundation is a titanium screw. Titanium has been discovered to bond well with human bone in a process called osseointegration.
There is an abutment that connects the post with a crown.
Like most other crowns, they are usually made of porcelain or another hard tooth-colored material.