Implants

Single-Tooth Dental Implants

Unlike bridges and dentures, implants more closely mimic natural teeth in appearance, feel, and function.

Unlike a conventional three-unit bridge used to replace a single tooth, the healthy adjacent teeth do not have to be modified to support the bridge.

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An implant is placed in the bone and covered with a protective cap while it is allowed to heal. Depending on the amount of bone, your clinician may need to do additional procedures to build up the bone.

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After healing, when the implant is securely anchored in the bone, an abutment is attached to the implant. This functions as the core of the replacement tooth. The abutment can be adjusted and shaped to allow the replacement tooth, or crown, to blend in with the adjacent teeth.

The final step is to affix a crown to the abutment. The crown is shaped and colored to match your surrounding teeth. The finished result matches your natural teeth. The entire implant procedure can be completed in as little as two months, in just three office visits.

With today’s newer generation of implants, it is now possible to do the entire process in one visit.

Multiple Teeth Dental Implants

Titanium implants are so strong, and bond with bone so well, that one may not be needed for each tooth replaced.

Your dentist will determine how many implants will be needed in each individual case.

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Implants used to support a bridge are placed and allowed to bond with the surrounding bone in the same manner as a single tooth implant. After the appropriate healing time, healing abutments are placed on each implant to allow contouring of the tissue.

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When the implant is securely anchored in the bone, the healing abutments are removed and final abutments are attached to the implants. These function as the core of the replacement teeth that are attached directly to the The bridge is designed to be permanently affixed to the implants. As with a single-tooth implant, the finished result is as aesthetic as your natural teeth, with the same functionality. There are no unsightly metal hooks or clasps.

Illustrations courtesy of 3i Implant Innovations, Inc.

With today’s newer generation of implants, it is now possible to do the entire process in one visit.

How Implants Compare With Other Tooth Replacement Therapies

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Advantages Over Dentures or Bridges

Conventional bridges and dentures are not fixed to the bone, and can therefore be unstable. This can make it difficult to eat or smile with confidence. Implants not only look more natural, but feel and act more like normal teeth, with a stronger biting force.

Because they don’t directly rely on neighboring teeth for support, implants don’t compromise the health of your natural teeth. In fact, bridges are expected to last only seven to ten years, even less with root canals, whereas implants will typically last a lifetime.

People are living longer than ever. While regular brushing, flossing, and checkups allow many of us to maintain our natural smiles for a lifetime, sometimes our teeth just can’t keep up. If you’ve lost a tooth (or several) due to injury or disease, dental implants can rejuvenate both your smile and your oral health.

An implant is a synthetic tooth root in the shape of a post that is surgically placed into the jawbone. The “root” is usually made of titanium: the same material used in many replacement hips and knees, and a metal well suited to pairing with human bone.

A replacement tooth is fixed to the post. The tooth can be either permanently attached or removable. Permanent teeth are more stable and feel more like natural teeth.

The ideal candidate for implants is a non-smoker who has good oral health, including a sufficient amount of bone in the jaw, and healthy gums with no sign of gum disease.

Single or Multiple Implants

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Implants are versatile. If you are missing only one tooth, one implant plus one replacement tooth will do the trick. If you are missing several teeth in a row, a few strategically placed implants can support a permanent bridge (a set of replacement teeth).

If you have lost all your teeth, a full bridge or full denture can be permanently fixed in your mouth with a strategic number of implants.

X-ray of an implant in position

Post-Treatment Care

Treat your replacement teeth the same as natural teeth. They require the same daily brushing and flossing, and the same amount of regular checkups. Just like your natural teeth, the better you take care of your replacements, the longer they will last.

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