Dental Implant Options
Dental Implants: What to Expect
Teeth restored with dental implants look, feel and function just like natural teeth. You brush, floss and visit your dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings, same as you would to care for a natural tooth. The process is often completed over multiple visits:
• Consultation and planning, including initial exam, imaging of your teeth, questions about your dental and medical history, and discussion of your treatment options.
• Placement of the dental implant(s).
The dental implant, usually a cylindrical and/or tapered post made of titanium, is placed surgically into the jawbone.
• Placement of the abutments, or connectors placed on, or built into, the top of the implant to help connect your replacement teeth, if needed. Additional connecting devices needed to attach multiple replacement teeth to the implants also may be placed at this time.
• Placement of custom-made individual replacement tooth (or teeth) or an implant-supported fixed bridge or implant-supported overdenture.
As you heal, your implant will integrate or fuse with your natural jawbone. Temporary teeth can be placed while the dental implant integrates with your natural bone. This healing process can take weeks to months while you proceed with your everyday life in between appointments. Most people return to work the next day, and any discomfort can typically be treated with commonly used pain medication.
How to Choose Your Implant Dentist
Who you choose to restore your missing teeth is just as important as the technique they use. Creating healthy smiles using the best restoration method for missing or damaged natural teeth requires the care of a dental implant expert who is specially trained and skilled in implant dentistry.
Questions to Ask When Selecting an Implant Dentist
• What’s your education and training in dental implant treatment?
• How many dental implant procedures have you performed?
• What treatment options do you use to restore missing teeth?
• What steps are involved in the process and where and by whom are they performed?
The American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AAID) provides infor mation, education and training for dentists, periodontists, prostho dontists and oral surgeons who perform surgical and/or restorative procedures. Implant dentists credentialed by the AAID have the training and expertise to assess and provide you with the best possible custom plan and treatment. To find a credentialed AAID Implant Dentist in your area, visit our web site at www.aaid-implant.org
Dental Implant Options
The dental implant, typically made of titanium, is placed in the jawbone and fuses, or integrates with your natural bone. The dental implant forms the stable and sturdy base for your replacement teeth.
Single Tooth There is no better, long-lasting option to restoring a missing tooth than a dental implant fitted with a crown
Multiple Teeth Replacing multiple teeth using dental implants with individual crowns or with an implantsupported fixed bridge gives your teeth a level of fit, feel and functionality that is not possible with other treatment options.
All Teeth (Full Arch) Traditional replacement of a complete set of upper or lower teeth (arch) using a dental implant is completed over multiple visits.
Immediate Load Dental Implants (Same Day Implants) Immediate Load Dental Implants, also called “same day implants” allow placement of a temporary tooth (crown) during the same appointment
As dental implant placement. The long-term custom crown will be placed in about three to six months. The procedure is best for patients who have enough natural bone and an implant that is secure enough to support immediate placement and pressure on the new temporary tooth.
Mini dental implants (MDIs), sometimes referred to as small diameter or narrow diameter implants (SDIs or NDIs), are dental implants that are smaller than the most commonly used dental implant sizes. Mini implants are placed through less-invasive techniques and measure less than 3 millimeters in diameter. Standard implants are slightly larger, usually 3.25–5 millimeters in diameter. Mini implants are often used to secure a complete lower or loose denture and in patients who are not candidates for traditional dental implant surgery.
All-on-4 is an alternative approach to place a full arch (top or bottom set) of fixed, replacement teeth. The All-on-4 concept involves placing implants in available bone, thereby avoiding the need for bone grafting. Special abutments allow a temporary set of replacement teeth to be placed the same day and used with a modified diet while gum tissues heal and the implants integrate with natural bone. After about six months, the final teeth are then placed and the patient is able to resume a normal diet. The All-on-4 approach involves multiple appointments, typically including one or two consultation and planning visits, one to place the dental implants and temporary teeth, check-ups during the six month healing period, and another appointment to place the replacement teeth.
Linda Chose Dental Implants to Replace Bridges
“We knew this was going to happen,” said Linda Hembree, recalling when the bridge that used to replace six of her front teeth needed to be replaced — again. “The teeth underneath wouldn’t hold it anymore and it was a choice of dentures or dental implants.” Although Linda didn’t fear the steps involved to place the dental implants and restore her teeth, she offers reassurance for those who do.
“The dental implants look tremendous.”
“It’s not like you have to walk around with ugly teeth,” Linda explained. Her colleagues were even convinced that the temporary teeth were her long-term teeth. Within a day or so after placement of four dental implants to support her new teeth, “I went right back to work,” she said. “I didn’t feel any downtime at all.” Same, she said, of the bone graft she received to supplement thinning bone in one area. “I was given pain medication to use if I wanted it, but think I only used ibuprofen if I needed anything.” How do her dental-implant restored teeth compare to the previous tooth-supported bridges? “The dental implants look tremendous,” she said. “The implants are more solid. Durability is better. You’re a little more secure — you’re not worried you’re going to break your bridge or afraid to go out to eat,” she said.
See more about Linda and other dental implant success stories at www.AAID-implant.org.