In the past, the only options available for people with missing teeth were dentures and dental bridges. However, these days, dental implants are one of the preferred tooth replacement options. Dental implants are a restorative dentistry procedure. At Kevin Kay DDS Comprehensive Family Dentistry, we recommend dental implants for partially or completely edentulous people as these restorations are associated with substantial oral health benefits.
How Dental Implants Work
Dental implants are titanium screw-shaped prostheses that replace your tooth root. These implants provide a solid and stable basis for replacement teeth.
At Kevin Kay DDS Comprehensive Family Dentistry, Dr. Kevin Kay developed a personalized implant placement plan for you. Under local anesthesia, a small hole is drilled into the socket of a missing tooth, and an implant is placed into your jawbone. As the bone heals, it fuses around the implant and cements it securely to the jaw. This process is called osseointegration and can take 6 to 12 weeks, depending on the density of your jawbone.
Once the implant is fused to your bone, a small rod called an abutment is attached to the implant. The top of the abutment is used to hold the artificial tooth or the crown. This will restore the function and form of your tooth.
Types of Dental Implants
The American Dental Associations accepts two types of dental implant techniques:
|•||Endosteal implants: These implants are placed directly into the jawbone. A crown or dental implant is attached to an endosteal implant with the help of an abutment
|•||Subperiosteal implant: This implant involves a metal frame that is attached on to the jawbone beneath the gums. As the soft tissue heals, the metal frame becomes affixed to the jaw. Posts attached to the metal frame jut out from the gums and are used to secure the crowns or a dental bridge.|
Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants have many benefits over dentures and traditional dental bridges.
|•||Dental implants are the most natural-looking and natural-feeling restorations. They look, feel, and function just like your real teeth.
|•||Dentures can slip in your mouth, and their bulk can cause you to mumble your words. Dental implants feel like real teeth so you should have no problems speaking normally.
|•||Dentures and traditional dental bridges may become cracked if you chew hard food. Since dental implants are secured to the jawbone, they can withstand much greater bite pressure without any adverse effects.
|•||Missing teeth can cause jawbone resorption. This can cause your mouth to feel shrunk and puckered. Since dental implants fuse with the jawbone, they prevent bone loss and actually strengthen your jaw.
|•||Dental implants prevent the neighboring teeth from moving out of position to fill in the gap left by missing teeth.
|•||Unlike traditional dental bridges, dental implants do not require filing down the enamel of your neighboring teeth to anchor the replacement tooth.
|•||Dental implants eliminate the inconvenience of removing your dentures every night and cleaning them.
|•||With proper care, dental implants can last you your whole life.|
Candidates for Dental Implants
Anyone missing teeth can be considered for an implant procedure, provided they are committed to good oral hygiene.
|•||As it stands, heavy smokers and people who abuse substances are not good candidates for dental implants as they often have poor oral hygiene.
|•||Pregnant women in their first trimester are also discouraged from having dental implant procedures because of changes in their hormones.
|•||People who suffer from chronic systemic or autoimmune diseases, like diabetes and HIV/AIDS may also need to be thoroughly evaluated before they can undergo the procedure.
|•||Dental implants are also discouraged in people below the age of 17 or 18, whose jawbone is still developing.
|•||Dental implants cannot achieve stability in the jawbone with low bone density. However, even this issue can be resolved if you receive a bone augmentation procedure.|
If you are missing teeth and considering dental implants, call us at (425) 738-8476 to schedule an appointment, and we will evaluate your treatment options.