Are you missing one tooth or many? Perhaps your denture is loose and causing pain or making it difficult to eat? You may also have problems resulting from gingivitis. Dental or denture implants may be right for you. Scroll down this page to find your specific condition. Implants can be used to replace one tooth or many. In addition, they can be used to help stabilize floppy dentures.
How do implants work?
Dental Implants are small titanium screws which are gently placed into the jawbone where teeth are missing. These metal anchors (sometimes using an Bar Attachment Denture method) act as tooth root substitutes. The jaw bone then bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation to replace missing teeth or to anchor removable dentures. Implants also help preserve facial structure, preventing bone deterioration which occurs when teeth are lost.
Replacing a single tooth
When one tooth is missing or requires extraction a dental implant is often the best way to replace it. A single titanium implant is placed within the jaw in these situations, and after a short healing time, a porcelain crown is placed on top. During the healing time, which varies from as little as 1-2 weeks to 6 months depending on your specific condition, a temporary appliance is worn. Therefore, you will never be without a tooth during the process. Other options when missing one tooth, include a tooth supported bridge or a removable bridge. Tooth supported bridges are anchored onto the adjacent teeth. This process however involves grinding down two or more support teeth to make a cementable bridge. Before dental implants, this was the most reliable technique available to replace a missing tooth with a fixed appliance. However, multiple teeth are needlessly damaged to replace a single missing tooth. Furthermore, since the average life span of a tooth crown or bridge is only about 10-15 years, an implant tooth is usually a better option.
Today, Dental Implants are the most ideal way to replace a single missing tooth because the process does not involve damaging adjacent teeth and the success rates are greater than 97%. In addition, a dental implant will prevent bone shrinkage that often occurs when teeth are missing in the jaw bone.
Replacing multiple teeth
When many teeth are missing or require extraction multiple dental implants can be placed to replace each individual missing tooth or support bridge work. Dental implants can also be used to replace your removable partial or complete denture. Contrary to what many patients think, replacing each missing tooth with a single implant is usually not required or even desired in most situations. Individuals that are missing all their teeth typically only need 4-8 implants to replace an entire arch of teeth depending on their specific situation. Multiple titanium implants can be placed in a single surgical visit, and after a short healing time, porcelain teeth or bridgework is placed on top. During the healing time, which varies from as little as 1-2 weeks to 6 months depending on the specific situation, a temporary appliance is worn. Therefore, you would never be without teeth during the process.
Teeth in a day™
Implants usually need to heal for a short period of time prior to attaching the teeth. However, in some clinical situations, the teeth can be attached on the very same day the implant is placed. This can dramatically reduce total treatment time. Dr. Caplanis and his team will let you know if this is possible for you.
Other options when missing multiple teeth, include long span tooth supported bridges or removable bridges. Tooth supported bridges are anchored onto the adjacent teeth. This process however involves grinding down multiple support teeth to make a cementable bridge. Before dental implants, this was the only technique available to replace multiple missing teeth with a non-removable prosthesis. However, multiple teeth are needlessly damaged and cleaning under bridgework can be difficult. Furthermore, since the average life span of a tooth supported bridge is only about 10-15 years, an implant bridge is usually a better option.
Why choose an implant-supported bridge rather than a fixed bridge?
Implant-supported bridges look and function like your real teeth without requiring support from nearby teeth. Fixed bridges, non-permanent partial dentures, and other traditional methods of replacing groups of lost teeth require the shaving down of adjacent teeth in order to be connected and provide that support.
One of the critical downsides of fixed bridges and partial dentures is the tendency of the surrounding tooth structure to deteriorate over time. By contrast, a dental implant is designed to integrate with the bone in your jaw so that it will permanently attach while promoting overall dental health.
Patient with advanced gum disease and dental infections — full mouth implant reconstruction
People that have lost many or all of their teeth have problems eating because of loose fitting removable dentures. Denture wearers very often, also feel insecure that their dentures will fall out or move out of place when speaking or eating. This is a prevalent problem as evidenced by the multitude of denture adhesive products found in the dental aisles of supermarkets and pharmacies. Luckily, dental implants can be used to help secure dentures in place and allow you to eat, speak and smile with confidence.
Patient with loose lower denture — implant supported bar over denture using 4 implants
Implant supported dentures
Implant-supported full bridges and dentures are more comfortable and stable than conventional dentures, allowing you to retain a more natural biting and chewing capacity. In addition, implant-supported full bridges and dentures will replace your tooth roots, helping to keep your bones healthy.
Patient with unstable upper denture — Implant retained “stud” overdenture using 2 implants