Technology has changed many aspects of our daily life. From the way we make phone calls to the way we shop, almost everything can be done more easily thanks to technological advancements. We can’t always say that new technology improves the way we do things, but when it comes to the many innovations in the dental field, the words new and improved both apply. The introduction of techniques and technologies necessary to create and place dental implants offers us a new and improved way to replace lost teeth. This versatile tooth replacement solution is unique in that it restores both the root and crown of missing teeth. Traditional tooth replacements like fixed bridges and dentures only restored the part of the tooth visible above the gum line, leaving patients without the necessary dental support and stimulation they need to maintain the optimal level of oral health. Today, the dental implant supported tooth replacement process is continuing to improve, and many dentists consider it the gold standard in tooth replacement.
Consultation & Treatment Planning
Before beginning any treatment plan, the Distinguished Dental team will schedule a consultation. No treatment is right for every patient, so we’ll review your oral health and past medical and dental history to make sure a dental implant retained tooth replacement plan is right for you. If you decide to move forward with dental implant tooth replacement, we’ll walk you through the entire process, schedule your treatment appointments, and outline the out of pocket costs associated with treatment.
Dental Implant Placement
For the first phase of the dental implant process, we partner with a trusted local oral surgeon. These skilled practitioners place a small incision in the gums. Then, the implant post is precisely positioned, and a protective cap is attached over the top of the post. Once the implant post is in position, patients need to wait three to six months to allow the implant to fuse with the gum and bone tissue, mimicking the function of natural tooth roots.
Once the dental implant post has fully fused with the gum tissue and jawbone, you’ll return to our office, so we can place your replacement tooth or teeth. In most cases, we’ll recommend the following dental restorations:
- One tooth - a dental crown will be supported by a single implant post.
- Consecutive teeth - in some cases, two fused together replacement teeth can be supported by a single implant. Otherwise, two implant posts, one on each end, will be used to supported a fixed bridge, which is crafted by fusing two more more replacement teeth together.
- Consecutive and nonconsecutive teeth - a partial denture is most likely recommended for patients who have numerous consecutive and/or nonconsecutive missing teeth. Crafted by molding a gum colored base material to support replacement teeth and fill the gaps in a patient’s smile, the entire prosthetic can typically be anchored to between two to four implant posts.
- Full row of teeth - a full denture is recommended to replace the entire row of teeth. Like a partial, a gum colored base is used to support the replacement teeth. The entire denture can typically be supported by four or fewer implant posts.