Happy smiles are timeless, but sometimes, life takes a toll on our teeth. Dental implants have emerged as a revolutionary solution to restore not only your teeth but also your confidence. In this comprehensive guide, we'll delve into the world of dental implants, exploring what they are, their benefits, the procedure, aftercare, and why they're considered a game-changer in modern dentistry.
69% of Adults aged 35-44 have lost one or more permanent teeth & 30% of adults over the age of 65 have no natural teeth at all
What are Dental Implants?
A. Understanding Dental Implants
Dental implants are not just replacements for missing teeth; they are artificial tooth roots made of titanium or zirconium that fuse with the jawbone in a process called osseointegration. This fusion creates a durable foundation for the replacement teeth, mimicking the natural structure of teeth. Dr. Ahmad Eslami (resident periodontist at Paul Sandvick, DDS & Associates in Glendale, WI) has placed
over 10,000 dental implants in his distinguished career, helping thousands of people gain a happy, healthy smile in the process.
B. Types of Dental Implants
Single Tooth Implant- one implant to replace one tooth. This is the most common implant procedure. Like Dr. Eslami says, “a single tooth solution to a single tooth issue.”
Multiple Teeth Implant- This procedure is generally used to replace multiple missing or extracted teeth. The surgeon will place multiple implants to support a dental bridge to replace the missing teeth.
Full-Mouth Implants- Your surgeon will likely perform an “all-on-4” procedure on your upper and lower arches. This procedure has gained popularity in recent years, as the implants are able to support full dentures, restoring confidence and function of the patient's teeth!
Why Choose Dental Implants?
A. Aesthetic Appeal
Dental implants are designed to look, feel, and function like natural teeth. They can seamlessly blend with your existing teeth, restoring your smile and facial esthetics.
B. Functional Benefits
Unlike traditional dentures, dental implants offer superior functionality, allowing you to bite, chew, and speak naturally. Restoring the function of a tooth can do wonders to a patient’s quality of life. Eat your favorite foods again! Speak clearly and without pain! Take back your oral health!
C. Long-Term Investment
While the initial cost might seem higher than other alternatives, dental implants prove to be a long-term investment. Their durability and minimal maintenance contribute to cost-effectiveness over time. After placement, dental implants can last a life time, and other dental options last much longer when supported by implants.
Dental implant surgery has a staggering, 98% success rate. With upstanding oral hygiene, dental implants can last an entire lifetime.
What is the Implant Procedure?
A. Consultation and Planning
At Paul M Sandvick, DDS & Associates, we will never recommend any unnecessary treatments. We create a customized treatment plan with each of our patients and strive to inform them of all aspects of the procedure, aftercare process, and of course, cost. Before the implant procedure, we host a consultation appointment to answer any and all questions associated with the procedure, cost, or any other concerns our patients may have! At this time, your provider will take a 3D image of your mouth in order to meticulously plan the implant process.
B. Implant Placement
While the dental implant procedure may seem daunting, it has been a routine procedure for dentists and oral surgeons over the past few decades. Technology has minimized the great majority of risks involved with implant placement overtime. Some dental offices may tweak their processes slightly; However, let us break down our dental implant process in Glendale, WI!
Before the implant can be placed your surgeon will have to remove the damaged tooth. Nobody wants to have a tooth removed; However, our team of assistants, and Dr. Eslami himself, will do our very best to make our patient's as comfortable as possible during the extraction and dental implant process.
In some cases, your surgeon will have to perform a sinus lift or bone augmentation. These procedures are routine and will allow for the most successful dental implant treatment.
Sinus Lift- Implants in some locations on the upper arch, especially the furthermost molars, can be difficult to place for a couple reasons. The first reason is the lack of quantity or quality of healthy bone to support an implant. The other reason is the proximity to the sinus floor. If the latter is the case, your surgeon will perform a routine sinus lift to elevate your sinus floor, allowing space to place bone grafting material.
Bone Augmentation- Also known as bone grafting, this technique is used when a patient does not have adequate healthy bone to support an implant. Surgeons, like Dr. Eslami use grafting material to regenerate enough healthy bone to support osseointegration with a dental implant.
When there is adequate healthy bone, the surgeon will use advanced technology and force (torque) to carefully and conservatively place the dental implant directly into the patient’s jawbone. In a process called osseointegration, the metal or zirconium dental implant, or “post” will integrate with the patient's bone, resulting in an extremely durable bond. A cover screw will be placed onto the implant to seal it from food or bacteria particles until the area is healed. After the implant post is placed, the next step is to wait for osseointegration. Since the post will act as tooth roots, it is best to wait until the bond between the implant and the patient's jawbone is strong before advancing to the next steps. The osseointegration process will usually take a few months and most patients won’t want to live their lives with a missing tooth during this time. Your dentists will give you options to temporarily fill the gap left after extraction. It is common to use segmental valplast appliances or clear retainers containing pontics, or fake teeth. It is best practice to keep outstanding oral hygiene during this phase to minimize the chances of implant failure.
While, titanium implants have been the industry standard for many years, Zirconia implants have gained headway in dental offices all over the world. These implants are primarily ceramic, rather than metal, and may be more biocompatible than traditional titanium implants.
After several months of healing, the patient will attend a second procedure. The dentist will start by re-exposing the top of the implant with a small incision to the gum. Next, a healing abutment will be screwed into the implant. This healing abutment allows the tissues to form around it, mimicking the tissues around a natural tooth. This allows for a highly accurate impression or digital scan, so a crown or other restoration can be perfectly manufactured and placed later on.
Finally, the process is coming to an end! After two weeks, the healing abutment is removed and an impression (digital or analog) is then taken. At this time, the operating dentist, using advanced technology, will find the exact color shade of your surrounding teeth, so the final restoration will match them seamlessly. This shade calculation and impression will then be sent off to a dental lab for fabrication of the necessary restoration (dental crown, bridge, etc.). When the fabrication returns from the lab, your provider will ensure fit and comfort, then send you on your way with a brand new smile!
How do I maintain my dental implant after placement?
A. Post-Operative Care
Understanding the importance of following post-operative care instructions will ensure a smooth recovery. The most important aspect of the aftercare process is maintaining upstanding oral health. Dental implants function just as natural teeth do, meaning bad oral hygiene and habits like smoking or chewing hard foods can result in implant failure.
B. Long-Term Maintenance
Maintaining upstanding oral health long term is imperative to keeping a healthy and long-lasting dental implant. With excellent oral hygiene a dental implant should last a lifetime! Another way to maintain dental implants is regular checkups with your dentist. Hygienists can recommend ways to better take care of your implants as well as professionally clean them, while your dentist will check the integration of your implant periodically to ensure the best possible outcome for your oral health.
In conclusion, dental implants are more than just replacements for missing teeth; they're a transformative solution that can renew your smile and boost your confidence. As technology continues to advance, the world of dentistry offers innovative solutions for a brighter, healthier future. If you're considering dental implants, contact our office and consult with our trusted team to embark on your journey to a renewed and radiant smile. Cheers to a year of confident smiles and many more to come!