Implant Dentistry

A dental implant is a “root” device, usually made of titanium, used in dentistry to support restorations that resemble a tooth or group of teeth to replace missing teeth.

The bone of the jaw accepts and is osseointegrated with the titanium post. Osseointegration refers to the fusion of the implant surface with the surrounding bone. Dental implants will fuse with bone, however they lack the periodontal ligament, so they will feel slightly different than natural teeth during chewing.

Dental implants can be used to support a number of dental prostheses, including crowns, implant-supported bridges or dentures. They can also be used as an anchorage for orthodontic tooth movement. The use of dental implants permits undirectional tooth movement without reciprocal action.

While high-tech in nature, dental implants are actually more tooth-saving than traditional bridgework, since implants do not rely on neighboring teeth for support.

Dental implants are so natural-looking and feeling, you may forget you ever lost a tooth.You know that your confidence about your teeth affects how you feel about yourself, both personally and professionally. Perhaps you hide your smile because of spaces from missing teeth. Maybe your dentures don’t feel secure. Perhaps you have difficulty chewing. If you are missing one or more teeth and would like to smile, speak and eat again with comfort and confidence, there is good news! Dental implants are teeth that can look and feel just like your own! Under proper conditions, such as placement by Sacramento Comprehensive Family Dentistry and diligent patient maintenance, implants can last a lifetime. Long-term studies continue to show improving success rates for implants.

Advantages of Dental Implants Over Dentures or a Bridge

Dental implants are a better solution to the problem of missing teeth.

Esthetic – Dental implants look and feel like your own teeth! Since dental implants integrate into the structure of your bone, they prevent the bone loss and gum recession that often accompany bridgework and dentures. No one will ever know that you have a replacement tooth.

Tooth Saving – Dental implants don’t sacrifice the quality of your adjacent teeth like a bridge does because neighboring teeth are not altered to support the implant. More of your own teeth are left untouched, a significant long-term benefit to your oral health!

Confidence – Dental implants will allow you to once again speak and eat with comfort and confidence! They are secure and offer freedom from the irksome clicks and wobbles of dentures. They’ll allow you to say goodbye to worries about misplaced dentures and messy pastes and glues.

Reliable – The success rate of dental implants is highly predictable. They are considered an excellent option for tooth replacement.

Are You a Candidate for Dental Implants?

The ideal candidate for a dental implant is in good general and oral health. Adequate bone in your jaw is needed to support the implant, and the best candidates have healthy gum tissues that are free of periodontal disease.

Dental implants are intimately connected with the gum tissues and underlying bone in the mouth. Don’t forget the “Mouth Body Connection” when it comes to caring for yourself. Patients are not candidates for implant procedures with uncontrolled systemic or localized disease processes. Implants are considered an elective procedure and therefore come secondary to your health. Some important points that can alter the dental implant treatment are radiation therapy to the head and neck, history of bisphosphonate drug use, and other factors.

What Is Treatment Like?

We will consult with you to determine where and how your implant should be placed. Depending on your specific condition and the type of implant chosen, we will create a treatment plan tailored to meet your needs.

Replacing a Single Tooth – If you are missing a single tooth, one implant and a crown can replace it. A dental implant replaces both the lost natural tooth and its root.

Replacing Several Teeth – If you are missing several teeth, implant-supported bridges can replace them. Dental implants will replace both your lost natural teeth and some of the roots.

Replacing All of Your Teeth – If you are missing all of your teeth, an implant-supported full bridge or full denture can replace them. Dental implants will replace both your lost natural teeth and some of the roots.

Sinus Augmentation – A key to implant success is the quantity and quality of the bone where the implant is to be placed. The upper back jaw has traditionally been one of the most difficult areas to successfully place dental implants due to insufficient bone quantity and quality and the close proximity to the sinus. Sinus augmentation can help correct this problem by raising the sinus floor and developing bone for the placement of dental implants.

Ridge Modification – Deformities in the upper or lower jaw can leave you with inadequate bone in which to place dental implants. To correct the problem, the gum is lifted away from the ridge to expose the bony defect. The defect is then filled with bone or bone substitute to build up the ridge. Ridge modification has been shown to greatly improve appearance and increase your chances for successful implants that can last for years to come.

What Can I Expect After Treatment?

As you know, your own teeth require conscientious at-home oral care and regular dental visits. Dental implants are like your own teeth and will require the same care. In order to keep your implant clean and plaque-free, brushing and flossing still apply!

After treatment, we will develop the best care plan for you. Periodic follow-up visits will be scheduled to monitor your implant, teeth and gums to make sure they are healthy.

You’re missing a single tooth. Until recently your only options were limited: a fixed bridge or a removable partial denture — which meant removing enamel from adjoining teeth. It was a very short list that could not compare to the success rate and longevity the new solution provides

The New Single Missing Tooth Solution

Thanks to modern dentistry techniques, single tooth implants are now an excellent alternative. Although most patients use tooth implants to replace an ill-fitting denture, or to bridge a large gap of several missing teeth, it’s now possible for you to have a single tooth replacement.

You’re a good candidate for single tooth implants if you are in good health and the jawbone where the tooth implant will be fitted has not receded. You have to be of age, since your facial growth must be complete.

There are many advantages to this procedure. Single tooth implants are strong. Unlike dentures, they require less care. And the implants look and feel natural. So instead of being embarrassed by a missing tooth, you’ll now have something to smile about.

Are you about to lose a tooth?

A great time to provide the bone support required to replace a missing tooth with an implant is actually immediately when the tooth is extracted or pulled. With new techniques and proper case selection you may find you are a candidate for immediate implant placement as well. You don’t have to go a day without your tooth.

When more than one tooth is missing, there are three common treatment options: the traditional tooth supported bridge, a removable partial denture and an implant supported bridge. In this situation the benefits of implant supported teeth are even more obvious.

A removable prosthesis, such as a partial denture, actually accelerates the bone resorption process, resulting in more rapid bone deterioration. In addition, the clasps which hold the partial denture in place put extreme pressure on the natural teeth they hook onto, loosening them and in many cases, eventually leading to the loss of those teeth. Most patients with partial dentures state that they are uncomfortable and that they rarely wear them. Let us help you find your smile again.

If you have a complete denture or are about to lose all of your teeth in an arch, an implant-supported denture is a type of overdenture that is supported by and attached to implants that can restore your smile. A regular denture rests on the gums, and is not supported by implants. Some people prefer to have fixed (permanent) crown and bridgework in their mouths that can’t be removed. We will consider your particular needs and preferences when suggesting fixed or removable options. Call us if you would like to find out if you are a candidate for non removable fixed complete arch or hybrid dental implant rehabilitation.

An implant-supported denture is used when a person doesn’t have any teeth in the jaw, but has enough bone in the jaw to support implants. An implant-supported denture has special attachments that snap onto attachments on the implants.

Implant-supported dentures usually are made for the lower jaw because regular dentures tend to be less stable there. Usually, a regular denture made to fit an upper jaw is quite stable on its own and doesn’t need the extra support offered by implants. However, you can receive an implant-supported denture in either the upper or lower jaw.

You should remove an implant-supported denture daily to clean the denture and gum area. Just as with regular dentures, you should not sleep with the implant-supported dentures at night.

How Does It Work?

There are two types of implant-supported dentures: bar-retained and ball-retained. In both cases, the denture will be made of an acrylic base that will look like gums. Porcelain or acrylic teeth that look like natural teeth are attached to the base. Both types of dentures need at least two implants for support.

Bar-retained dentures: A thin metal bar that follows the curve of your jaw is attached to two to five implants that have been placed in your jawbone. Clips or other types of attachments are fitted to the bar, the denture or both. The denture fits over the bar and is securely clipped into place by the attachments.

Ball-retained dentures: Each implant in the jawbone holds a metal attachment that fits into another attachment on the denture. In most cases, the attachments on the implants are ball-shaped and they fit into sockets on the denture.

Caring for Your Implant-Supported Denture

You will need to remove the denture at night and for cleaning. You also should carefully clean around the attachments.

Your dentist will test all the parts of your new denture to see if they are secure. Even though your denture is stable, it still can move slightly when you chew. This slight movement can cause the denture to rub against your gums, which can cause sore spots. Your dentist will check your gums and also will check the way your top and bottom teeth come together (your bite) after insertion of the denture.

The clip or other attachments on the bar-retained denture usually will need to be replaced every 6 to 12 months. They are made of a plastic material and will wear after continued use.

What Can You Expect From Your Implant-Supported Denture?

Your implant-supported denture will be more stable than a regular denture. You will find it easier to speak and you won’t have to worry about the denture becoming loose or falling out of your mouth. You generally will be able to eat foods you could not eat before. However, you will not be able to chew hard or sticky foods because they can damage the denture.

If you have an implant-supported denture in your upper jaw, it can be made to cover less of your palate or roof of your mouth than a regular denture. That’s because the implants are holding it in place instead of the seal created between the full denture and your palate.

Many denture wearers are unable to enjoy the simple pleasures of life that so many of us take for granted. Chewing becomes a difficult and frustrating experience. Diet will consist of mainly soft foods that lack nutrients and fiber. Loose or ill-fitting partials or dentures can also affect your general health. Many traditional denture wearers mumble or slur their words due to slipping from ill-fitting devices or lack of bone support due to bone loss. Poor fitting dentures can actually cause further bone loss if not treated.

Dental implants offered for our patients can restore the quality of life for people who wear dentures. The boost in self-esteem and confidence that accompany a smile restored with dental implants can drastically improve the overall health of patients who previously suffered from loose or ill-fitting partials or dentures.

Dental implants are not susceptible to cavities (dental decay) and are usually much less susceptible to bone loss. Dental-implant-supported devices are removable by the dentist or patient for ease of maintenance, which is usually simpler and less costly than maintenance of traditional devices. When properly cared for, most dental implants have the potential to last a lifetime.

If you experience problems with your partials or dentures, implant dentistry may be the solution for you. Get in touch with Heritage Oak Dental to schedule a consultation.

Dental implants are popular among dentists and are usually the recommended choice for the replacement of missing tooth or teeth. It provides a long-term solution to missing teeth unlike the use of dentures and fixed bridge, which may need to be replaced over a period of time. Dental implants on the other hand can last a lifetime if maintained well. But are dental implants suitable for everyone? No not really and here is a list of reasons why dental implants are not going to help everyone with tooth loss.

The cost of dental implants has traditionally been high although we work hard at providing you with an affordable dental implant treatment option. Most insurance companies are still catching up with the new technology and most do not cover the procedure. As such, it may not be affordable to all.

Implants require strong bone support. People who have bone loss or small bones may not be suitable for the surgery or they may need additional bone grafting surgery. Some patients even with extensive bone grafting may not have enough supporting tissue to be restored with some of the implant treatment options.

Children and teenagers are rarely considered for this treatment because they are not finished growing. the implant would become submerged as the bone in their facial structures continued to grow around them.

People with uncontrolled systemic or localized diseases are not suitable for dental implants. Dental implants can be considered when the patient is managed and controlled in their disease process. Some examples include diabetes, cavities, periodontitis, hypertension, bleeding disorders, immunocompromised, and so on.

People who are heavy smokers and alcohol drinkers also have a higher failure rate for dental implants because they tend to be poor healers.

Finally, dental implants are still susceptible to gingivitis and periodontitis. They require regular cleaning and care to prevent possible infection, which may lead to implant failure. As such, people who are not vigilant in their oral hygiene effect are not likely to be good candidates for dental implants.

When shopping for a car you can purchase a VW Beetle or Ferrari Enzo, the price tag and capabilities are completely different although they are both automobiles. When you start considering implant dentistry take the time to talk to your dental health care team about the design, materials, and specifications of your tailored rehabilitating treatment plan. All implant treatments are not created equal although the goal to improving your dental function is the same. At Heritage Oak Dental we offer a wide array of dental implant treatment plans that are designed to fit your dental and financial needs. We don’t offer a one size fits all treatment and involve you in the selection of the design, materials, and restorative treatment modalities. Our tiered prices are proof that we care about the product we are providing and don’t make everyone pay for services they don’t want and leave patients without services on the basis that they can not afford them.

Here is a list of specific questions about your dental treatment rehabilitation that deserve to be answered and directly alter the cost of treatment:

  • Bone grafting
  • Soft tissue grafting and contouring
  • The number of implants placed
  • The number of teeth replaced in the treatment
  • Restorative material for the teeth
  • Supporting structural material for soft tissue and support
  • Substructure materials for connecting to the implants and support
  • Patient expectations
  • Long Term Care

Just like the tires on your car and roof over your head, nothing lasts forever and everything requires maintenance. We recommend that you have your treatment completed by people who you trust, stand by their work, and will be around to provide you the service to keep your dental implants healthy. At Heritage Oak Dental we provide long term maintenance and know what it takes to care for your implant from the placement throughout the rest of your life. Make sure you understand the financial and personal obligations required to maintain your proposed dental implant rehabilitation before you start.