Dental Implants

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Dental Implants

Dental implants are becoming the standard of care for replacing missing teeth. In this procedure, a titanium implant is placed as a substitution for the root of the tooth. Dental implants are not only used for individual tooth replacement, but can also be used when replacing multiple teeth. They can also be used to support and stabilize dentures.

When placing dental implants, or preparing a bridge in the esthetic zone, bone grafting may be a necessary procedure. For a dental implant to be successful, there must be a sufficient volume and density of bone available to hold the implant. When there is not enough bone, an implant may not be an option. There are several factors that affect jaw bone volume and density:

Advantages of dental implants

✔ Implant supported crowns are natural looking
✔ Dental Implants are very stable and comfortable
✔ They are easy to keep clean, unlike bridges
✔ They are the closest thing to a natural tooth
✔ They preserve and maintain bone density and volume

Disadvantages Of Dental Implants

✔ Implants have a higher cost than dentures and partials
✔ They need to heal in the bone prior to being restored, and this takes a few months
✔ There is a chance that the surgery may fail, although uncommon

Reasons for Dental Implants

Injuries and Infections

Accidents and other physical injuries to the jaws can cause the bone to recede. Infections can also result in bone loss.

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease can permanently damage the bone that supports the teeth. Affected areas worsen over time until the teeth become unstable.

Tooth Extraction

As extraction sites heal, soft tissue competes with the bone during healing. Some areas, particularly with upper front teeth, heal with significant bone loss. Grafting at the time of extraction prevents this loss of bone volume.

*Examples of dental implants

Refer to a Prosthodontist in extreme cases

Prosthodontics is the specialized field of dentistry concerned with diagnosing, planning and executing restorative and cosmetic treatments. Dentists who choose to specialize in prosthodontics must complete three or four more years of dedicated training following dental school. A prosthodontist is, in essence, an architect, who formulates a comprehensive treatment plan and informs the patient as to what is possible.

Missing or defective teeth can be extremely detrimental to self-esteem and self-confidence. Using the latest technology, a prosthodontist is able to fill these gaps with functional, natural-looking teeth that boost confidence and enhance the smile. 

There are many reasons why a prosthodontist may be consulted, including (but not limited to):

  • Creation of partial or full sets of dentures.
  • A desire to whiten the teeth or improve the aesthetics of the smile.
  • Filling gaps created by one or more missing teeth.
  • Interest in dental implants. ​

What treatments can the Prosthodontist perform?

Prosthodontic treatments are designed to be functional, long-lasting and pleasing to the eye. These procedures can only be completed on generally healthy teeth. Issues like gum disease need to be controlled before prosthodontic treatments can begin. There is an ever-increasing number of hi-tech prosthodontic treatments available including the following:

Dental Implants

Implants are designed to replace the natural teeth in the best possible way.  Titanium roots are implanted in the jawbone in the same way as natural tooth roots.  Implants look and feel the same as natural teeth. 

Dental Veneers

Veneers are porcelain/ceramic covers that are bonded to the natural teeth.  Veneers can instantly solve problems like uneven teeth, stained teeth, and chips and damage caused by general wear and tear. 

Dental Crowns

Prosthetic crowns are generally made from porcelain, metal or a combination of the two.  They have been designed to mimic the natural crown (surface of the tooth) and can last for up to a decade, and possibly longer. 

Dental Bridges

Conventional and cantilever bridges are used to support a prosthetic tooth.  The natural teeth can support the bridge if they are in good condition, or dental implants may be used as anchors.

Complete Dentures

A complete set of dentures can be created for people who have no teeth due to gum disease or trauma.  Complete dentures restore functionality to the mouth and make chewing and speaking easier. 

Partial Dentures

Where many teeth have been lost, removable or fixed partial dentures can prove to be an excellent option.  They enhance the aesthetics of the smile in addition to improving chewing abilities.​ 

What other problems can a Prosthodontist treat?

In addition to performing the treatments described above, the prosthodontist is also adept at treating problems with the jaw (TMJD), alleviating severe snoring, managing sleep apnea, and reconstructing the teeth following oral cancer treatments.  Generally, the prosthodontist works in combination with other dental health professionals to ensure the best possible restorative results are achieved. If you have questions or concerns about prosthodontics, please contact your prosthodontist.

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