What is a Dental Implant?
Periodontists at our Los Angeles dental office use dental implants to replace missing teeth. An implant is an artificial tooth root that is secured into your jaw for the purpose of anchoring an artificial tooth restoration. You are a good candidate for dental implants if your general and oral health is good, you have healthy gum tissue, and you also have adequate bone density to support the implant.
Dental implants provide for very natural-looking tooth restorations that look and feel as if they're really part of your mouth. Dental implants help restore one's confidence as they provide the most secure fit and ensure that you can eat and speak with the utmost comfort and security once again.
When are Dental Implants Used?
• Dental implants can replace one or several missing teeth while not affecting surrounding teeth.
• Dental implants can give support to a bridge, making it a permanent restoration.
• Dental implants can give added support to dentures.
Types of Dental Implants
There are two types of dental implants that are currently used by our Los Angeles dentist:
• Endosteal: This type of implant is the most commonly used and is a cylinder shaped instrument that is surgically placed into the jawbone. An endosteal implant provides the strongest stability and can anchor one or several replacement teeth. Patients with partial bridges or dentures can greatly benefit from this type of implant.
• Subperiosteal: This type of implant is not placed into the bone but instead sits on top of the jawbone. Metal posts that protrude through the gum will hold the replacement tooth or teeth in place. Patients who do not have bone height and/or cannot wear traditional dentures benefit from this type of implant.
The Advantages of Dental Implants
• Dental implants facilitate optimal restorations that have the look and feel of natural teeth. Bone loss and receding gums don't occur with implants as they do with bridges and dentures.
• Bridges must be anchored to surrounding teeth- unnecessarily destroying the condition of healthy surrounding teeth. Dental implants don't rely on existing teeth for support, thus providing for the ability to preserve your good teeth.
• With dental implants, you'll be able to eat and speak normally because a dental implant provides for a restoration that stays securely in place- unlike dentures, bridges and other restorations that constantly move inadvertently in the mouth.
Our periodontist at the office will be able to go over the different treatment options available for replacing any missing teeth.
• Single Missing Tooth: If you are missing one tooth, one dental implant will do the job of replacing it. The implant itself takes the place of the tooth root, and a crown that attaches to the top of the implant will be placed as a replacement tooth.
• Several Missing Teeth: When several teeth are missing, a bridge that is supported by one or several implants may be the best option.
• All Teeth Missing: When all teeth are missing, a full bridge or denture supported by several implants is one of the most cost-effective ways to go.
• Sinus Augmentation: Implants can only be successful if there is good quality and density of bone to support them. The back of the top jawbone is a very difficult area for successful dental implant integration, because the quantity and quality of bone in this area is usually not sufficient due to its proximity to the sinus. However, a procedure aptly named sinus augmentation can be performed to raise the floor of the sinus and allow for bone development that will sufficiently hold any dental implants in this area.
• Ridge Modification: This is a procedure where deformities of the jaw that have left insufficient bone for the placement of dental implants are modified. The gum will be lifted from the ridge, exposing the defect, which is then filled with bone or bone substitute. This procedure will not only create more bone for successful dental implant placement and integration, but it will also improve the overall appearance of the jaw and mouth.
Dental implants must be cared for and maintained in the same way that you care for natural teeth- with twice daily brushing and flossing. To ensure the health and longevity of your dental implants, it's vitally important to keep up with regular visits to the dental office for examinations and cleanings.