Losing a tooth can make you feel extremely self-conscious, causing you to smile less often and make chewing food more difficult. At San Tan Oral Surgery in Gilbert, AZ, we offer dental implants that permanently replace missing teeth and roots. This kind of tooth replacement will help you feel more confident and allow you to eat your favorite foods again.
Which Dental Implants Are Right for You?
What a Dental Implant Is
Dental implants are artificial tooth roots inserted into your jawbone that support replacement bridges or crowns used to create an artificial tooth. This is an excellent choice if you have lost one or more teeth in an accident, from periodontal disease, or another reason. Implants are an excellent replacement for removable dentures and bridges; plus they look, feel, and function like your natural teeth.
Types of Dental Implants
There are two main types of dental implants: Endosteal and subperiosteal. Each come in assorted sizes and shapes and use a different coating and connector. Implants are categorized 3 ways:
- The number of stages (one or two) used to position the implant
- Where the implant is placed
- The shape of the implant
Your dentist will help you choose which implant will work best for your situation. This will be based on specific criteria, including:
- Mouth and jawbone structure
- Quality of implant
- Cost of varied brands
This is the most common type of dental implant and is what we normally visualize when our dentist talks about it. Endosteal dental implants are surgically inserted into the jaw and fuses onto the bone. These come in a screw aka threaded, cylinder aka smooth, or bladed forms. Each implant can hold a single prosthetic tooth. This safe, effective procedure can be completed in one or two steps.
Before the procedure can begin, your dentist will give you an anesthetic to numb the area that will be worked on. Your dentist will begin by carefully drilling into the jawbone to create enough space for the implant. Next, a titanium screw, cylinder, or blade will be inserted. The treated is completed when the soft tissue and jawbone have healed around the new root. This usually takes about 2 months.
Though the rarer of the two, subperiosteal implants are used in specific cases. If you have a narrow, short, or worn-down jawbone, this may be your best choice. The implants are inserted onto the bone within the gum tissue. The implant’s metal post holds the prosthetic tooth in place and can often be seen through the gums. The procedure can be done in two visits and the healing process is shorter than other procedures.
With this type of surgery, the dental implant post and healing abutment (connecter) are attached within the gum above the jawbone. This causes the post to protrude, leaving it exposed. During the healing process, the post will be extremely sensitive to external influences. Be careful when eating or brushing your teeth. This will help the implant fuse seamlessly to the jawbone.
Dentists recommend the two-step procedure because it supplies strength and stability to the implant. The first step involves surgical inserting the dental implant. The titanium root post is inserted into the jawbone and tightly secured to it under the gum. The gum is stitched up, protecting the implant while the bone heals and fuses over it.
The second stage happens when your mouth has healed. A minor cut is made to the gum to reveal the implant. The dentist will then attach an abutment plus a temporary restoration or crown. When your permanent crown is finished, it will be fitted onto the implant after removal of the temporary one. Overall, both steps are important to the health and success of dental implants.
Sometimes, the implant and abutment (with crown) can be inserted in a single procedure called immediate loading. This is a one-day procedure where the implant is inserted right after the original tooth is extracted. The artificial tooth is put in shortly after that, allowing you to leave the dentist’s office with your new teeth at once.
There are dozens of companies around the world that make dental implant materials, including surface patterns (aka coatings) and connectors. This gives dentists a lot of options, even for patients with unique requirements. While titanium is often used for the implant, the surface can be made with multiple patterns.
Surface patterns, or coatings, refer to the treatments available for the outer surface of the implant. The type of pattern used will directly influence the stability and longevity of the implant. Rougher surfaces help the implant heal smoother and stronger.
Surface patterns include:
- Microgroove (plasma-sprayed titanium)
- Plasma-sprayed hydroxyapatite coating
Dental implants need a screw-shaped “root” to be attached to the connector (aka abutment) on top. There are internal hex connectors with an internal opening where the prosthetic is screwed into the implant. An external hex connector attaches to the top of the implant. An internal octagon connector has an opening that is screwed into the implant.
Choose the Permanent Solution to Tooth Loss
If you are interested in getting a permanent replacement for broken or lost teeth, see us at San Tan Oral Surgery in Gilbert, AZ, anytime. Our expert staff provides thorough consultations and examinations at flexible hours and affordable prices.