One of the biggest misconceptions about dental implants is that there is only a variety. This isn’t the case. The technique used in dental implants is now being used across several different types of dental restoration.
Dental implants have one core element that defines them – a small, metal post that forms the basis of the treatment. This post, which is made from biocompatible titanium and so will not be rejected by the body, is inserted into the bone of the jaw in an area beneath where the missing tooth would be. The purpose of the titanium post is to act as an artificial root for the visible part of the restoration, whatever that may be.
The titanium post is implanted into the jaw surgically, via an incision and drilled hole in the gum tissue and bone. This surgical insertion creates a small amount of trauma to the bone which then prompts it to regenerate and heal, which it does, encasing the titanium post within it. This process, called osseointegration, secures it permanently, giving it the unrivaled stability for which the technique is known. The visible part of your restoration, which is custom-designed, is then attached to the titanium post/s using special connectors which keeps it securely in place. This completes the technique and treatment.
In most instances, it takes around 4-6 months for osseointegration to take place. During this time, only temporary prosthetics will be attached. Once the implant post has fully healed into the jaw, your temporary prosthetic will be removed and replaced with your bespoke alternative.
There are several different types of dental implants to choose from, and which is right for you will depend on how many teeth you have missing and where they are.
The most well-known, single tooth dental implants replace individual missing teeth in your smile. They have just one titanium post and one prosthetic tooth made from a porcelain crown.
If you have several missing teeth, you may be recommended to consider an implant-supported bridge. This solution has a standard bridge, which is customized to the shape, color, and size of your existing teeth, and combines it with several dental implant posts, which have been pre-inserted into your jaw. This ensures that the bridge is fully supported on the implant posts rather than the restoration placing pressure on healthy teeth, which could eventually cause them damage.
Dentures have a bad reputation, but the design of modern dentures is sleek and effective, particularly when mounted onto implanted posts rather than secured using adhesive. As with an implant-supported bridge, the prosthetic teeth are customized to suit your smile. Once the implant posts have been placed, of which there will be between 6 and 8 depending on your jaw, and osseointegration has occurred, your prosthetic smile can be loaded in place. Again, the implant posts give the restoration unrivaled stability and security, eliminating many of the problems associated with traditional dentures.
Also known as ‘All-on-4’, this popular cosmetic dentistry treatment enables patients to enjoy a fully-loaded, bespoke smile in just one day. This dream is made a reality thanks to CAD (computer-aided design) CAM (computer-aided manufacturing) technology. First, a camera is used to take countless high-res images of your teeth, and this is used to design your customized prosthetic. The design is then passed digitally to the manufacturing unit which creates your bespoke smile whilst you wait. During this time, your dentist will be securing the implant posts into the pre-determined locations in your jaw. These are positioned in such a way that they are less reliant on osseointegration and can be loaded with your new smile straight away.
Choosing dental implants may seem like a minefield, but our team is on hand to guide you through the process and help you find the correct solution for you. Contact our offices today to schedule an appointment.