Dental Implants – Smile Again With Confidence
Dental implants are a revolutionary treatment for patients who wish to replace missing teeth. Implants provide a very real and cosmetic solution when a tooth is missing or is beyond saving. Instead of dentures, you can have teeth you won’t have to take out at night, can chew all foods with, and are absolutely natural looking.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants act as artificial roots for teeth (made of titanium) that are surgically placed into the upper or lower jaw bone. The porcelain crowns attached to implants are very natural looking and often enhance or restore a patient’s smile.
Dental implants are very strong, stable, and durable and will last many years. On occasion, they will have to be tightened or replaced due to normal wear or oral habits such as smoking or teeth grinding that can shorten the longevity of a dental implant.
Implants are used to replace the roots of missing teeth. They are a fixed solution to a single missing tooth or an entire jaw of missing teeth.
After an implant is placed into the jaw bone. It may either be restored almost immediately or it is allowed to heal for several months to become integrated within the bone. After healing, a post is attached to the implant using a screw.
A crown is then made to attach to the post. The crown is made using metal and/or porcelain and is made to closely replicate the shape and color of the natural tooth. This diagram shows how the crown fits over the post
The crown is screwed or cemented onto the post. Implant therapy usually takes a few months and several appointments to complete; however, the final restoration can be almost like having your own teeth.
Single Esthetic Implant
This young individual was in an accident which resulted in the loss of his front tooth. A single tooth implant is the best choice to replace this missing tooth. A bridge is not the best choice. The teeth on either side of the space do not have any fillings in them. Shaving these teeth down for the placement of a bridge would permanently damage them, and these teeth may require other treatment.
This x-ray shows the implant positioned in the jaw bone. A post will be attached to the implant, upon which the final crown will be placed to replace the missing tooth.
The final crown (cap) has been fabricated and cemented onto the post which is attached to the implant. A small bonded restoration was also placed on the other front tooth to provide a balanced esthetic result. This implant supported crown provided a beautiful esthetic replacement for the missing tooth.
Restoring a Fractured Tooth with an Implant
Teeth can fracture for various reasons. Most commonly, they fracture if they have been traumatized, or if they have been weakened by dental decay or large restorations. If teeth fracture above the gum line, they can usually be restored, In this example, the fracture on this front tooth appears very small and easy to restore. However, in this case, there was a vertical fracture in the root of the tooth, making the tooth non-restorable.
An implant restoration was chosen to replace the fractured tooth once it was extracted, since the teeth on either side were in healthy, pristine condition. Here we are looking at the final result, and it is indeed very difficult to tell the difference between the implant supported crown from the natural tooth beside it.