Dental implants date back to 1952, created in Sweden, and they are now one of the most common restorative dental procedures available. They are discrete, secure, and have several uses. There are also a couple of different types of dental implants available, depending on your specific needs. Our dentist at Southern Family Dental Care can give you more information on available dental implants.
Dental Implant Uses
There are three main uses for dental implants. Dental implants can be used as a foundation for complete or partial dentures. The replacement teeth attach on top of the implant to restore the look and functionality of the mouth. Dental implants are also used to secure fixed dental bridges. These are also replacement teeth, but they are used when only a small section of teeth is missing. Dental implants can also have replacement teeth, themselves. So, they may be stand-alone structures to restore the look and function of your teeth. Dental implants may also be used temporarily to anchor natural teeth into a more desired position. They are removed once the natural teeth are settled into this position.
Types of Dental Implants
There are two different types of dental implants that you can get. Endosteal implants are those which are implanted into the jawbone. Subperiosteal implants, on the other hand, rest in the gum tissue, but over the jawbone. These are rarely used today. However, the jaw is not always strong enough to support endosteal implants, which is when subperiosteal implants would come into play. If your jawbone is not strong enough to support endosteal implants, there are a few options to get your jawbone to the point where it is strong enough to provide support. For instance, we can provide a bone graft, sinus augmentation, or sinus lift to provide a sturdier base.
Dental Implant Procedure
Our dentist will first consult with you about the implant surgery and collect some diagnostic images, such as x-rays, CT scans, and panoramic films. If the bone needs to be strengthened or grown, our dentist will discuss these options with you. Once the jawbone is strong enough, you will be scheduled for your implant surgery.
On the day of the initial surgery, our dentist will first administer anesthesia. The tooth is extracted to make a place for the implant. We typically need to place a bone graft (cadaver or synthetic bone) in order to have a sturdy base for the implant. This area will need to heal for about two to six months before the implant can be placed.
Once that area has healed, our dentist will provide more anesthetic. Then, they will place the titanium implant using a drill and other dental tools. Our dentist will also place a healing cap and stitch the gum at this point. This needs to heal for another two to six months. The implant will integrate with your jawbone and our dentist can get a dental mold once it has healed. After the mold is received, our lab will produce your restoration, such as a crown or denture.
You will receive recovery instructions following each procedure. For example, you may need to take medication or avoid certain foods to prevent damage. For information about dental implants, call Southern Family Dental Care at 470-410-9774 today.