What are dental implants?
Dental implants are titanium posts that are surgically placed within the jawbone. The titanium post provides a scaffold for new bone growth, holding an artificial tooth in place.
Dental implants can replace one or more teeth, depending on how many natural teeth you have remaining after extraction (or other treatment plans). Dental implants can be placed in either the upper or lower jaws.
Having missing teeth can lead to further dental issues. Having just one missing tooth can cause the adjacent, remaining natural teeth to shift and cause alignment issues, gum disease, and bone loss. It is essential to replace any missing teeth to avoid further problems.
There are several options when looking to replace teeth, but dental implants provide the ultimate and most natural support. Some of the most common types of dental implants include:
- mini dental implant- mini implants are a smaller, less invasive implant option
- traditional dental implants- a single implant
- All on 4 dental implants- full arch implants
- Implant-supported dentures- can be partial or full arch implants
- Implant-supported bridges- to replace multiple teeth in a row
The Dental Implant Process
Regardless of whether a patient requires a mini dental implant, single dental implant, or a full mouth of dental implants, the process of placing the dental implant is similar. Here, we will explain how a dental implant is placed in the jaw.
Before the dental implant is placed, your dentist will need to make sure your gums and jawbone are healthy enough to hold the implant. Sometimes, bone grafting is required before dental implant surgery to assist the jaw bone. Other damaged teeth may also need to be removed before dental implants are placed for a full-mouth procedure.
To place the single tooth implant or multiple dental implants, the dentist will apply a local anesthetic to the locations where the implants will be placed. Next, the dentist will make incisions in the gum line and slightly open them up to reveal the bone underneath. After the incision is made, the dentist will drill a hole deep into the jawbone and place the titanium screw inside the hole. This process is repeated for those who require multiple implants. The dentist will place temporary teeth, or crowns, over the implants to protect the gaps.
Healing Time and Abutment Placement
Once the implant is placed, healing time is required for the gum tissue and bone. The healing time is essential to properly allow the jaw bone to fuse to the dental implants. This process is known as osseointegration and can take several months to complete.
The abutment is the piece that connects the implant to the artificial tooth or permanent crown. The abutment can be placed during the initial surgery or a separate appointment after some healing time has been allowed.
After the abutment is placed and healing is complete, you will return for a final appointment for the dentist to place the artificial tooth. Though this process requires many months to be completed, soon, you will have a fully restored and functional smile again!
One of the differences between single and full-mouth dental implants is mini dental implants. A mini implant is a smaller, more cost-effective option for patients. A mini dental implant can replace a single tooth or multiple teeth that have been damaged, missing, or extracted.
A minimally invasive process, the mini dental implant is a small, screw-like device that can be especially beneficial for people with decreased jawbone density. Mini dental implants are smaller than traditional dental implants, and they are about one-fifth the size of a regular dental implant and only two millimeters long. The mini dental implant size makes it compatible with an individual’s bone density.
Mini dental implants are implanted directly into the jawbone and do not require bone grafting. The surgeon will place the dental implant, then guide it with a unique tool to adjust for any differences in depth. Since the mini dental implants are smaller, less bone is needed to place them successfully. In this way, a patient’s jawbone thickness can be fully utilized.
Once the mini dental implant has been placed, the dentist will guide the abutment to attach on top. In between appointments, patients must protect the implant with a retainer. After this process, a patient can begin to use the mini dental implants in place of their missing teeth.
DNA Dental Dallas has found that patients are happier with their mini dental implants because they pose less risk to the patient’s mouth and jaw and require less recovery time.
Types of Full Mouth Dental Implants
Single tooth implants only replace one single tooth. However, sometimes patients may be missing more than one tooth and sometimes an entire row of teeth. Patients who are missing a whole row of teeth or a full mouth have other options other than traditional dentures to help restore the functionality of their smile. Partial and full mouth implants are available for patients looking to restore entire sections or arches of their mouth.
All on 4
All on 4 dental implants require four dental implants to be placed in the jaw. This option is best for those who need full-mouth dental implants and have good jaw bone structure.
Implant-supported dentures replace the old school and uncomfortable removable dentures with a custom implant denture. Implant dentures are an excellent option for those who have lost a large amount of their jaw bone. Other temporary dentures or permanent dentures will not be stable or comfortable if the jawbone is too weak. Unlike traditional dentures, implant dentures offer full support and the functionality of natural teeth.
Schedule an appointment with our cosmetic dentist today!
If you are looking to replace your missing tooth or multiple teeth, look no further than DNA Dental Dallas. Our professional team provides the best options to restore our patients’ smiles. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Darya Timin, located in the heart of Dallas, TX.