For those who are missing one or more teeth, it may come as a surprise that there are more options available beyond the standard full or partial dentures used for treating a lost tooth. Through advancements in technology that allow us the use of modern equipment to perform enhanced procedures, we here at Olympia Prosthodontics & Cosmetic Dentistry can set you up with a set of prosthetics that look as real as your natural teeth but never have to be removed.
WHAT ARE DENTAL IMPLANTS?
To receive an implant, there should be enough supporting bone tissue. An implant is often a tiny titanium bolt that is screwed into the jaw and used as an anchor for prosthetics such as an artificial crown, bridge, or even dentures. Through an incredible process known as osseointegration, your bone can fuse with the metal and make it a permanent part of your dental structure. Though it can take between three to six months for the fusion to complete, many patients claim that dental implants can be the closest you can get to having real teeth again.
THE IMPORTANCE OF PLACING AN IMPLANT
Depending on how many teeth you need to have replaced determines how many implants you may need. For those who are looking to replace one, you may only need one. For those who are looking to replace multiple or all of their teeth, you could require significantly more. Through certain procedures, you may not need an implant for every missing tooth, and we can actually use fewer if we know where they should be placed.
Using 3D imaging, we can predict a path and can anticipate bone integrity so that we can have a chance of optimal implant success rather than having to rely on an educated guess. Computers can be used to place the implants exactly as they need to be for ultimate fit with minimal additional damage done to already sensitive bone tissue. This may also eliminate the need for a more challenging operation and can cause less discomfort for you.
For bottom plates, you may only require two implants which should keep your teeth firmly in your mouth. For the top plates, however, we may need to be more cautious if we want to ensure a good fit. Depending on the angle, it could be possible to use the sinus wall for extra leverage and a greater chance of success.
A graft could be necessary if you have had significant jaw resorption or deterioration, but through the use of tilted implants, you may be able to avoid grafting. These are more often inserted into the posterior part of the jaw and can grant a higher level of strength to the implants than they would have otherwise.
Implants placed into a recent extraction may need a wider or tapered implant design, but can still offer a larger bone-to-implant contact area with better stability. Increasing the width of the implant can reduce stress on the bone, which can ultimately lower the amount of bone loss during the dental implant procedure entirely.
For those who are interested in learning more about posterior implants and how dental implants may help you regain the confidence a brand new smile can give you, please give us here at Olympia Prosthodontics & Cosmetic Dentistry a call at (360) 456-1200 to schedule an appointment.