What are dental implants?
Dental Implants are one of the most important developments in modern day dentistry. The implant procedure basically allows us to place an artificial tooth inside your jaw bone! This is an amazing achievement in dental science and one that we rely on daily for treatment options. There are many instances when a dental implant might be the correct way to restore a missing tooth. Drs. Klein would love the opportunity to do an evaluation and educate you on your options!
When we refer to a dental implant we are usually referring to an entire process! So... let me help to demystify the situation.
There are several components to an implant system, and actually there is more than one doctor involved in the process....but do not let that scare you, for our patients, we give excellent referrals for the implant placement. Okay, so here are the components:
- The implant: This is actually the metal screw that will be surgically placed into your bone. This component goes under soft tissue or gums...you will most likely never even see this part, unless you ask to peek at it before the surgery.
- The healing cap or healing abutment: This is a small metal cap that is placed into the top of the implant. The purpose of the healing cap is to hold back the gums...basically to prevent them from growing over the implant. We need to be able to access this implant so that we can place a tooth on it! So, the healing cap holds open the space and actually trains your gums to heal in a way that will look marvelous around your brand new crown that is soon to come. Most of the time, a patient will stay with their healing abutment for a few months while your implant osseointegrates.
- Osseointegration: Sorry "one day implant" ads, but this is actually an imperative process. Osseointegration is the process by which your own bone takes on and integrates this new implant into itself. It is absolutely amazing that science has found a way to make this happen and is an essential key to many orthopedic advancements! Skipping this step is almost never a good idea, and certainly will never lead to an improved outcome. Patience is key to implantology!!
- The restorative abutment: This is the component that will eventually replace the healing abutment after the osseointegration process has completed, and after you have nice soft healed gum tissue around the healing abutment. This is the piece that gives us a foundation to screw or cement a crown onto! Now, almost all of the time we place "custom" abutments, which means that we take the additional time, and expense to have the laboratory fabricate an abutment that is to the exact specifications that are best suited for a great outcome. We do not cut corners at Klein Family Dental! We always strive to give you the best that dentistry has to offer.
- Implant Crown: This is the portion that you will see, enjoy and be oh so proud of! This is the portion that looks like a tooth! Our implant crowns are made at a very high quality laboratory that uses the best materials available! You will be so happy you took all the correct steps, and waited so patiently for your beautiful new implant! PS. If your implant is going to be located in a cosmetic area please do not worry, there are temporaries available! You will not have to "go without a tooth" during the healing and osseointegration stage.
Implants Can be used in all kids of Crazy situations
Implants are used in dentistry to address all types of situations! They are not used only to correct for a single missing tooth but also to anchor bridges for multiple teeth. They can even be used to rest dentures on stabilizing them and helping them to have a snug fit, these are called over dentures. Sometimes, we even place 4-6 implants if a person is missing all of their teeth and we can place a permanent denture, this is called a hybrid denture. Regardless of how many teeth someone is missing, dental implants are usually an option for restoration.