Amanda Orvis RDH
A dental implant is a titanium post used to replace missing teeth and support dental prosthetics. Implants are surgically guided into the jaw bone and integrate with the bone to support a dental prosthesis such as a crown, bridge and/or denture.
Success or failure of dental implants can depend on a few factors. Smoking is one of the number one causes of implant failure. Smoking can slow down the healing as well as act as an irritant to the tissue and bone surrounding the implant. Certain prescription medications can affect the integration of the implant with the surrounding bone as well. Stress to the implant due to clenching and/or grinding, also known as bruxing, can also be a significant factor on the success or failure of the implants. All of these potential issues will be discussed during your implant evaluation appointment.
Individual tooth replacement
For an individual tooth, an implant is selected and placed into the site of the missing tooth. The implant is given 3-6 months time to heal and integrate into the surrounding bone so that it becomes permanently stable. Once the implant has integrated with the surrounding bone the implant is ready to be restored. An impression is taken to allow a custom crown to be fabricated. Once the crown is fabricated, an implant abutment is placed into the implant and secured by a screw. The crown is then cemented in place on top of the implant abutment.
Implant supported bridge
An implant supported bridge is a group of teeth supported by two or more dental implants. The process of placing an implant supported bridge is very similar to the individual implant placement discussed above. To begin, implants are selected and placed into the sites of two or more missing teeth. The implants are given time to heal and to integrate with the surrounding bone. Once the implants have integrated with the surrounding bone the implants are ready to be restored. An impression is taken to allow a custom bridge to be fabricated. Implant abutments are placed into the implants and then secured with screws. The implant abutments will act as anchors to support the floating teeth between the implants known as pontics. The bridge is then cemented in place on top of the implant abutments.
Implant Supported Denture
Implant supported dentures can be made to be removable or permanently fixed into the mouth. Removable implant supported dentures can be disconnected from the implant abutments with finger pressure by the wearer. To enable this, the abutment is shaped as a small connector, which can be connected to an adapter on the underside of the denture. A permanently fixed implant supported denture is secured in place by your dentist with screws. Even though dentures are placed, it is still import to note that you must visit with your dentist at least once a year to have your tissue and implants examined.
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