July 21, 2017
Health & Fitness
85° Scattered Clouds

Dental Implants Are Not Teeth

Dr. Jeffrey Cranska
Dr. Jeffrey Cranska's picture
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June 28, 2017

Modern technology has given dentists more ways to replace teeth. For example, dental implants can replace teeth and secure dentures. What is best for the patient? What are the benefits and risks?

Q: How can I have my missing, broken and diseased teeth replaced to look like and function like my original teeth?

A: Consider the condition of the remaining teeth as well as overall oral health, cosmetics, durability, longevity, cost and number of dental visits required. Technology gives us options other than extracting the remaining teeth and making dentures. Consult with your dentist before treatment begins. A dentist is responsible for a thorough examination and proper diagnosis to determine the best treatment for the patient. He or she must evaluate the benefits versus the risk and determine which treatments are necessary.

Q: Can I have all my remaining teeth extracted and implants placed? I’ve seen TV ads for all this being done in one day.

A: A dental implant is a titanium metal post surgically placed into your jawbone. The implant replaces the root of the missing tooth. A prosthesis is anchored to the implant. This can be a single implant crown (cap), multiple implants and crowns bridged together, or a multiple implant-borne denture. It takes three to four months for healing and integration of implants into the jawbone.

With implant teeth, you can have all teeth in upper or lower or both jaws extracted, three to four extra-long implants per arch placed into skeletal bone, and a temporary full denture made that day, screwed into the implants. After healing, which takes about six months, the appliance is removed, remade and replaced with the final screwed-in new denture appliance.

Q: What maintenance is needed for any dental implant?

A: Six-month recall appointments for professional examination are needed for the rest of your life. The oral function of the restorations and prevention of peri-implantitis (bone loss around the implants) are evaluated. The bite needs to be checked and adjusted, and the mouth should be checked for loose screws, any broken ceramic or denture teeth, and fractures to screws or implant prosthesis. Prosthetic components need to be repaired, replaced or remade as necessary.

 

Several procedures can restore your teeth to proper form and function. Dental implants allow the dentist to replace missing or non-restorable teeth – in most cases saving the remaining natural teeth. The ultimate decision of restorative options is determined between the patient and dentist.


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