A quick guide to dental implants
Your quick guide to dental implants for missing teeth
The concept of using replacements for missing teeth has been around since early civilization when humans used old bones or carved shells as artificial teeth.
Thankfully, technology has advanced, so you’ll be pleased to hear that we don’t use bits of bone here at Bonaventure Dental Care!
Back in the mid-1950s it was discovered that a strong, lightweight metal could successfully be fused with human bone and the first titanium dental implants were developed a decade later.
It’s a straightforward and common procedure. According to the American College of Prosthodontists more than 36 million Americans have no teeth and 120 million Americans are missing at least one tooth. This can be caused by various reasons ranging from a mouth injury or trauma to gum disease.
A lost tooth can affect your ability to speak, chew and eat properly. It can cause discomfort and damage your self-confidence. Replacing missing teeth with dental implants can really help improve your quality of life and health.
Why would you need a dental implant?
At Bonaventure Dental Care we offer single implants to replace just one missing tooth, multiple teeth implants, implants to replace a full set of teeth (upper or lower) and implants which can stabilize loose or ill-fitting dentures. We also offer the All-on-4 Dental Implant which uses just four implants to support a full arch of teeth on the upper, lower or both jaws.
So how is an implant done?
The dental implant is made up of three parts:
- The dental implant body is a screw, usually made of titanium, which acts as an artificial tooth root to support the fixed or removable tooth replacements. This is surgically fixed into the jawbone.
- The abutment is usually then attached to the implant body and functions like a connector for the prosthetic tooth on top.
- The crown or bridge are then individually designed to form an artificial tooth which is then attached to the abutment.
The implants are placed into the jawbone and form a stable base for the crown or bridge. Unlike dentures they help stop or prevent jawbone loss which can happen when a patient has missing teeth.
What does the procedure consist of?
Initially we will meet for a consultation at our Baton Rouge dental office where we will take x-rays and examine you to make sure you are a good candidate for dental implants. This includes checking the bone is strong enough to handle an implant. Don’t worry, there are solutions if not, such as a small bone graft.
Next comes surgery to insert the implant. This is done via local anesthetic so there is no pain throughout the procedure. A hole is drilled, and the titanium screw is then inserted into the bone socket. It can take a few weeks for the jawbone to heal and grow around the implant but once this is done the replacement tooth is then attached.
And you’ll have a brand-new smile!
What are the benefits of having a dental implant?
- They look and feel like natural teeth.
- You will be able to speak, chew and eat again properly without difficulty.
- They help keep the jawbone from moving or shrinking due to bone loss.
- This is turn preserves the health of the bone and gums.
- Implants also help keep the other teeth stable.
- They will improve your self-confidence and quality of life.
How long do dental implants last?
Dental implants are designed to last a lifetime! Of the approximate 450,000 dental implants placed each year across the United States, there is an expectation of a 95% success rate with minimal risks or complications, and they will last for periods of more than 50 years. They last longer than other tooth replacement options such as dentures or dental bridges.
Good oral hygiene remains important and regular check-ups with the dentist will help keep the implants in tip-top shape.
There’s much more detailed information available via our FREE Guide to Dental Implants, which you can request via our website here. Or just give us a call and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have.