What Are Dental Implants
Dental implants, the best solution for missing teeth, are permanent tooth replacements. They hold a crown, bridge or denture just like roots hold natural teeth in place. Many dentists consider implants to be one of the greatest advancements in dentistry since they truly are “the next best thing to your natural teeth.” Unlike a traditional plate or bridge, dental implants are actually anchored to your jaw. After integration with the jawbone, the crown, bridge or denture is then attached to the implants. This provides much greater stability for more effective eating, speaking and smiling!
People of all ages are discovering how they can improve their lives with dental implants. No more messy, ineffective adhesives for denture wearers. With dental implants, denture wearers report eating foods that they have not had in years! Say goodbye to slipping partials and uncomfortable dentures. Implants allow for a secure solid fit of the more comfortable palate less denture.
Implants can even help a patient missing just one tooth. In the past, the two adjacent healthy teeth had to be ground down and “sacrificed” to build a three-unit bridge to replace the single missing tooth. Today, a single implant can often be placed in between the teeth and a crown can be fabricated without affecting the healthy teeth.
So if you are a candidate for dental implants, don’t put off getting a complete professional evaluation any longer. Not everyone is a viable candidate for dental implants. A comprehensive evaluation with your general dentist and your implant surgeon will allow you to understand all of your treatment options and choose a dental solution for improving your life.
Where Are Dental Implants Used
*Replace a single missing tooth
*Multiple missing teeth
*Implant Dentures (removable and permanent)
*Full Mouth treatment
Types of Dental Implants Used
*Endosteal (Endosseous) – within Bone
*Sub-periosteal – underneath gum tissue
*Transosteal – Metal Pin or U-shaped frame
*Root Form implant
*Ramus Frame Implant
Types of Implant Connectors
*Internal Hex Connector
*External hex Connector
*Internal Octagon Connector
*Standard dental implant size: 3.5mm – 4.2mm
*Wide implant platform size: 4.5mm – 6mm
The Advantages of Dental Implants
Better Dentures: if you wear conventional dentures, you know how limiting they can be. Slipping, avoiding all but the easiest foods to eat and messy adhesives. Implants can solve all these problems for denture wearers. In fact, most enthusiastic implant patients are people who had conventional dentures for many years prior to their implants.
Stable Bridges: historically, one of the biggest challenges to general dentists was when a patient lost their back two or three teeth on one side. Without a back tooth to attach a bridge to, dentists were forced to design partial dentures or “removable flippers” for patients to use. These functioned more for cosmetic purposes than for anything else. Dental implants can provide solid anchors for a bridge of any size.
Healthy Teeth: dental implants often allow dentists to provide single crowns where a three-unit bridge would have been the only option in the past. To make the three-unit bridge, the two healthy teeth are ground down to make abutments for attaching the bridge. With an implant, a crown is placed on top of the implant’s post and the two healthy teeth remain untouched.
Best Candidates for Dental Implants
No one can tell you to get dental implants. The best a qualified surgeon can tell you is whether you are a viable candidate for implants (defined as someone with a great likelihood of treatment success). So assuming you are diagnosed as a viable candidate, how do you decide whether to get dental implants? You’ll eventually have to make the decision based on what your heart and head say, but some of these items may help you decide:
Can you afford the portion that insurance is not going to pay? Will your oral surgeon and restorative dentists work with you to design a payment plan that fits in your budget? Dental implants are an investment in the quality of your life, but they are an investment nonetheless.
For someone who misses eating their favorite foods, dental implants can pay for themselves on the first bite of a thick porterhouse steak. For a professional speaker, implants can give them back the ability to speak with clarity and confidence. For anyone who suffers from ill-fitting dentures or bridges, implants can enhance their quality of their life.
Length of time
Implants may not be the best solution for someone who is planning on a temporary dental solution for just a few years. The longer you plan to live and enjoy your dental implants, the better of an investment they can be.
Missing just 1 tooth?
If you are missing just one tooth and your dentist has recommended a three-unit bridge, but not a single implant and crown solution, then it is likely your dentist is unfamiliar with the procedure. Talk to your dentist about the solution. Talk to another dentist for a second opinion. This is a decision that you need to live with for the rest of your life, it’s worth getting a 2nd or even 3rd opinion until you feel you can make the best decision for yourself.
Current conventional denture wearer?
The longer you have worn dentures, the more excited you will be about getting implant-based dentures. No bad-tasting adhesives and no slipping. More comfortable palate less designs are available. You owe it to yourself to see what dental implants can do for you.
The Cost of Dental Implants and Choosing the Best Implant Specialist
The costs associated with dental implants can only be estimated once you have gone through a complete evaluation. Dental Implant costs start at $800 for a single tooth and go as high as $40,000 or more for a complete dental makeover. Financing is available.
Benefits of 3D Imaging in Dental Implantation
Cone bean computed tomography (CBCT) 3D imaging is a major breakthrough in the field of dentistry with widespread uses in dental implantation, restoration, oral surgery, maxillofacial surgery, Temporomandibular joint and sinus disorders and orthodontics. High precision 3D images guide the dentists in terms of effective planning and treatment. It has totally re-defined the dentists’ approach towards treatment and rehabilitation.
3-D imaging has also eliminated the hazards associated with previously used imaging techniques like X-rays and CT scans. Radiation exposure during 3-D imaging is far less as compared to X-rays and CT scans. The degree of radiation exposure with CBCT is roughly equal to a full month of radiation exposure with X-rays. Safety gear like thyroid shields can also be employed during the method. It is an affordable and cost effective method. The major benefit of 3-D imaging over traditional CT scan is time effectiveness. The whole CBCT scan takes merely 20 seconds. Complete scanning guides a dentist during dental implants to the point of precision helping him avoid nerve damage, sinus injuries etc. Implantologists get a complete 3-D scan of the bone which provides them with additional information and is not possible with 2-D imaging techniques.
3-D imaging also gives the implantologists the liberty to control the field of view (collimation) for studying bone anatomy in greater depth and detail. They can use it to study anatomical details like mandibular canal, submandibular fossa, incisive canal, maxillary sinus etc. They can choose the resolution as they deem appropriate, focus on their area of interest and get the images of pin point details at high resolution as per the needs of individual cases. The size, shape, dimensions and magnitude of bone can be studied precisely. It also benefits the patients in many ways. Besides being a comfortable method, it also eliminates the claustrophobic feeling that CT scans can cause in patients. The results can be obtained instantaneously, saving the time of patient as well as the clinicians.
CBCT 3-D imaging also helps the implantologists in determining the number and orientation of the dental implants that are needed. Apart from that, they also help in establishing whether the patient needs a bone graft. The need of sinus lift can also be ascertained. This 3-D technology has evolved to the point where an implant software can help you plan step-by-step procedure of implantation even before the implant is done. It guides the implantologists at each and every step, thereby reducing the risk of manual errors that may arise during the process.