If you have a missing tooth, you might not feel like smiling. But you don’t have to live with an embarrassing gap between your teeth if you don’t want to. Plenty of options exist to replace a missing tooth. That’s good to know because a missing tooth doesn’t just leave a hole in your smile — it may also affect how you speak and chew. And if a missing tooth isn’t replaced, the teeth around it begin to move. Shifting teeth create new crevices for dental plaque to hide in, which can lead to tooth decay and the need for a tooth filling or gum disease treatment down the road. Also, missing a tooth leads to bone loss in the area which can lead to a sunken face and make it more difficult to place an implant. Implants act like teeth in stimulating the bone, preventing bone loss.
Implant dentistry is a popular option for replacing a missing tooth. Rather than resting on the gum line like removable dentures or using adjacent teeth as anchors like a dental bridge, dental implants are surgically placed into the jawbone where they act as an anchor for replacement teeth. A dental implant looks and feels like a natural tooth, allowing you to chew and speak just like you did before.
The Conventional Dental Implant Procedure
The dental implant procedure is usually a three-step process requiring oral surgery that is provided by your dentist, a prosthodontics or an oral surgeon. During the first step of dental treatment, your dentist drills a hole into the jawbone and a titanium implant is screwed into place. This portion of your dental implant treatment might sound painful, but most patients are comfortable with just local anesthesia. (If necessary, sedation dentistry can be used for anxious patients.) At the end of the procedure, the gum is secured over the dental implant, which will remain covered long enough for it to undergo the process of Osseo integration, when the implant actually fuses to the bone. Osseo integration usually takes three to six months. As with any dental surgery, you may experience some mild discomfort as the dental implant heals.
The dental implant is uncovered during the second phase of treatment and a post is added. This serves as an extension and together with the dental implant serves as the foundation for your new tooth. Once the gum tissue around the post has had a chance to heal, your dentist places a dental crown on top. Since it is fixed to a post, your new tooth is extremely secure and will function just like any other tooth.
The Mini Dental Implant Procedure:
The mini dental implant procedure is a much simpler process for patients. A mini dental implant is a smaller in diameter implant than a conventional implants. This allows implants to be placed where there might not be enough bone for a conventional implant.
Mini Dental Implants are less invasive, less discomfort, less time in the chair and cost less money.
It is a two-appointment process. The first appointment a Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT), which is a state of the art technology, is used to take 3D images of the mouth. These are sent to the lab to have a surgical stint fabricated. The surgical stint is made utilizing the CBCT so the implants can be placed simply and precisely.
A pilot drill is used then to stint. No cutting of the gum, or bone grafts is needed. The mini dental implant is gently threaded into the pilot hole and immediate Osseo stabilization is achieved. A conventional implant takes three to six months. The mini dental implant then has a custom made crown immediately cemented on. The patient leaves with a new implant they can immediately chew on while enjoying a great smile!
A Lasting Solution
Dental implants can replace a single tooth, several teeth or all of them. Mini Dental Implants can also be used to anchor a bridge or dentures into place. If you need to have all of your teeth replaced, mini implant-supported full arches, bridges are an ideal choice to be able to chew and eat what you want and achieve the smile you used to have or have always wanted.
Just like any surgery, the dental implant procedure will be more successful if you are healthy. That means practicing excellent oral hygiene, eating well and not smoking. Patients must also maintain a significant amount of jawbone to support dental implants. Discuss your pre-existing medical conditions with us. Gardens Dental Care can determine if you are a candidate for dental implants.