Dental implants are the gold standard for modern-day tooth replacement. Unlike conventional treatments, implants are non-invasive to your remaining healthy teeth and are designed to last for the rest of your life. There’s no need to alter the structure of the teeth next to them.
An implant is made out of biocompatible materials (similar to what you would see in a joint replacement) that fuse closely with your bone. That way when they’re fully integrated, the implant becomes a permanent part of your smile.
Since implants are stronger than healthy teeth, we can use them in pairs or sets for multi-tooth restorations such as bridges or full-arch hybrid designs. You don’t necessarily need a one-for-one ratio when it comes to implants and missing teeth.
Benefits of Dental Implants
- No removable appliances
- Non-invasive to your adjacent teeth
- Function like natural teeth
- Blend in with your smile
- Designed to last for life
- Ideal for single or multiple teeth
- Best return on investment
Today’s implants are like having natural teeth all over again. Unlike typical restorations that require altering the shape of your adjacent teeth, implants work harmoniously with your smile without changing surrounding tooth structures. Their permanent design makes them the preferred solution over other conventional tooth replacement options.
By replacing your tooth with an implant, you can avoid shifting and bite irregularities commonly linked to tooth loss.
Candidates for Dental Implants
Ideally, the best candidates for dental veneers will be someone who doesn’t smoke, is generally healthy (no serious underlying medical issues), and has enough bone to support the implant. If there is active periodontal disease, the infection will need to be treated before an implant can be installed. Please be sure to provide us with a list of any medications or supplements that you’re currently taking.
To determine if you are a candidate, we will need to take an X-ray of the area to assess your bone quality. A visual gum exam is also important.
All implant candidates should be over the age of 18, as younger individual’s mouths are still developing.
Types of Dental Implant Restorations
Implants are the “root” portion of your new tooth. You’ll also want to pair them with a restoration for the final results. The type of implant restoration you choose will depend on how many teeth are missing and implants are being used.
Traditional implant treatment is preferred for single missing teeth. In these cases, we recommend fitting a ceramic crown over the implant, allowing it to blend in with your overall smile.
Two implants support a 3-4 tooth dental bridge, replacing several teeth at once. The bridge is made of ceramic for optimal aesthetics and durability.
If you need to replace all of your upper or lower teeth at once, we may be able to use as few as four dental implants total. Each case is unique. Some individuals prefer a fixed, hybrid (extended bridge) design like popular “All-on-4” implants, while others want an implant stabilized overdenture.
The Dental Implant Treatment Process
The dental implant experience is one that requires detailed planning. Nothing should be rushed. From your initial exam and deciding exactly where the implants should be installed, to providing 3-6 months for the implant to integrate with your bone, you can plan to work closely with us over the course of several visits. Careful and accurate planning is crucial to making your implant investment a success!
Daily Implant Maintenance and Upkeep
Although dental implants are resistant to tooth decay, they can still be compromised by conditions like gum disease. Cleaning your implants each day is vital to ensuring their integrity in the years to come. If dental plaque accumulates along the gums, it can lead to an implant form of gum disease known as peri-implantitis. This infection will lead to detachment and shrinkage of the supporting structures, causing the implant to fail.
To ensure your implant’s integrity, brush and floss them each day as if they were natural teeth. Pay particular attention to the gumlines, where plaque tends to be the heaviest. If flossing is difficult or you have multi-tooth restorations, consider investing in a water flosser instead.
Schedule a normal dental cleaning at least twice per year as part of your preventative care plan.
Wondering if dental implants could be right for you? We encourage you to schedule a consultation to find out if you qualify. Between our wide variety of dental implant and tooth replacement options, Weston Dental Specialists Group can help you find the best solution for your smile.