Dental implants are a permanent and appealing solution to replace missing or extracted teeth. They are better than other alternatives like bridges because no additional teeth need to be altered to place the new tooth.
The entire implant process is performed over the course of a few months. The first part of the process is to install the implant itself, where a screw is placed into the jaw bone. An incision is made in the gum so that the implant can be inserted. Multiple implants can be placed at once if necessary. After the implants are placed the gums are sutured.
The implant must be allowed about 3-6 months to heal, and during this time the jaw bone will form around the implant in a process called osseointegration. During this healing time you can have temporary crowns installed so that you can eat and speak normally and maintain a proper aesthetic appearance for your smile.
After the implant has healed it is time to place an abutment on the implant. The abutment serves as the base for your new tooth. One this is placed an impression of the abutment is taken and is used to create your permanent restoration. Some offices have an onsite lab to create the crown, but others will have to send it to an outside lab. Once the restoration is completed you can return to the office to attach the restoration permanently. Your smile will look just like it used to, and after a short period of getting used to the implant it will feel just like one of your own teeth.
Mini Dental Implants
Mini dental implants are about half the size in diameter of a regular dental implant. This offers many benefits, and they can also be used in situations where regular implants cannot. If an implant needs to be placed in a narrow space, mini implants are the preferred method because of their smaller size.
A main use for mini implants is to install a full upper or lower denture. A series of mini implants (4-6) are placed along the gum line and they serve as the base of the denture. Rather than placing a single implant for a single tooth, an entire lower or upper set of teeth are directly attached to the gum line.
The small size of mini implants often means that no incision needs to be made to place the implant. They can usually be inserted right through the gum into the bone. This eliminates the need for a recovery period, and the restoration can usually be placed right away or only a short time after.
Mini implants are also less expensive than regular implants. Only your dentist knows if mini implants are right for you, so call for your consultation today.
Dental Implant FAQs
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a permanent new root for a missing tooth. It is a titanium screw that is placed into the jaw bone. An abutment and crown is then placed on the implant to provide a new tooth that is permanent and looks just like a natural tooth.
How are dental implants different than dentures?
Dentures are a removable set of teeth or partial set of teeth that need to be removed and cared for in a special manner. They can often feel bulky and are difficult to get used to. Dental implants are a permanent replacement for missing teeth that can be cared for just like natural teeth.
What are the benefits of dental implants?
Dental implants look and feel just like real teeth, they are permanent, you can eat the foods you want without any fear of embarrassment, and they procedure is very successful and fairly inexpensive.
Who can place a dental implant?
Your dentist may be able to perform implants in their own office based on their training. If not, they will recommend you to an implantologist, cosmetic dentist, or another specialist that will perform the procedure.
How much do implants cost?
The price of your dental implants will vary based on the level of experience of your doctor, how many implants you are having placed, amount of insurance coverage, and more. Schedule a consultation with us to determine a price for your implants and a financing plan if necessary.
Do dental implants hurt?
No. A local anesthetic will be given before the procedure so that you do not feel any pain. If you have anxiety or fear you should discuss sedation options with your dentist.
How long do implants last?
When cared for properly, implants should last a lifetime. Proper oral hygiene and regular dental visits are essential to the success of your implant.