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Dental Implants

Dental Implants are one of the most exciting treatments in modern dentistry. Although the first implant was placed 40 years ago, the new developments in the field are making implants a more often utilized restorative option for tooth loss and denture retention.  Sedona AZ dentist Roy Daniels can place Dental implants can help replace missing teeth that can effect your appearance, oral function or self confidence. 

What is a dental implant? 

Dental implants are essentially titanium anchors that are placed into the bone. The bone actually grows around the surface of the implant and has tremendous stability.  This process is called osseointegration and usually takes between 3-6 months.  An abutment, or attachment to the implant that sticks up out of the gum, and crown is then placed on the implant to look and feel like a natural tooth.  Alternatively, an abutment may also be placed which can attach to and retain a denture.

 

The procedure

 

Woman eating an appleThe procedure can vary due to the type, location and circumstances present.  In an area where a tooth has been missing and there is an adequate height and depth of bone, a series of drills are used to enlarge the bone to the appropriate size for the implant.  The implant is then slowly screwed into the bone and either covered with tissue, covered with a small metal cap or, if in the esthetic zone, covered with a non-functional temporary restoration.  After 3 months in areas of dense bone (the lower back teeth) to 6 months in areas of less dense bone (upper teeth) an impression is taken and a final crown made.  Other steps may be needed, such as tissue contouring or implant uncovering.  Patients generally report little discomfort after implant procedures.

Success Rates

Success rates for dental implants vary depending on the study, but in general success rates are between 90-98%.  Selecting patients who are good candidates for implants is important and contributes to success.  Smoking, inadequate bone height, width or quality, systemic diseases, hygeine and other factors contribute to failure, but even people with some risk factors can still have dental implants if they are willing to risk failure.

Although success rates are very high, failure can sometimes occur.  Failure to osseointegrate or disproportionate force on the implant are two possible problems.  Breakage of the implant components is also possible.  It is important to have your dental implants cleaned and checked regularly to keep these problems from occurring. 

Advantages

Implants have advantages in many situations over other treatments in that they:

  • Conserve bone - When a tooth is lost, the surrounding bone resorbs unless it is used. Implants help prevent this bone loss.
  • Conserve tooth structure - No preparation of adjacent teeth is needed as compared to a bridge.
  • Improve biting pressure and stability when used to support dentures or as a fixed bridge.
  • Longevity and reliability - Implants have become a very predictable procedure with high success rates.
  • More predictable in cases where adjacent teeth have questionable prognosis for a bridge as the whole bridge may need to be replaced if one part of it fails.
  • Preserves integrity of the dental arch -  When a tooth is lost, the adjacent and opposing teeth move to fill the space.  This can cause spaces in other teeth, cheek and tongue biting or bite problems.

Other procedures

If you don’t have an ideal space for an implant, don’t worry.  Procedures such as sinus lifts, bone grafts or orthodontics to move teeth can be done to make space for an implant.  Talk to Dr. Daniels to see what needs to be done.

 

Mini Dental Implants

Click here to learn about Mini Implants