Dental implants are currently the standard of care for replacing missing or broken teeth. They are a permanent and natural looking solution that restores form and function to smiles, and have quickly become the treatment of choice for people who want to eat, laugh and smile with confidence.
Annapolis dentist, Dr. Vernon Sheen has extensive training and experience in both single tooth replacement and full mouth reconstruction. And although he provides patients with alternative restoration options, no other treatment replicates the quality and durability of natural teeth like dental implants.
Dental Implants Overview
Dental implants are replacement tooth roots. The dental implant is a bio-compatible titanium post, which serves as an anchor for a replacement tooth (dental crown). The procedure is minimally invasive with easy recovery and the most natural and permanent solution to tooth loss.
Benefits to Dental Implants
With a success rate of up to 98%, there are many benefits to tooth implants:
- Appearance - Dental implants look and feel natural.
- Improved Speech and Easier Eating - Dental implants are permanent and therefore do not slip when speaking or eating.
- Durability - With good oral hygiene, dental implants can last a lifetime
- Improved oral health - Because dental implants don"t require remaining teeth to be compromised, your own teeth are left intact.
- Comfortable - Unlike removable dentures, dental implants are permanent and fit perfectly.
Implant Supported Dentures
An implant supported denture is used when a person does not have any teeth in the jaw, but has enough bone to support an implant. While regular dentures sit on the gums, implant supported dentures are attached to dental implants. These types of teeth implants are usually made for the lower jaw, as regular dentures tend to be less stable there, but can be made for the upper jaw as well.
Implant supported dentures are commonly known as "Teeth in a Day" and "All on Four" because as little as four implants can be used to install a full set of replacement teeth and the procedure can be done in a single visit.
Dental Implant FAQs
Who is Eligible for Dental Implants?
Almost anyone with missing or broken teeth is eligible for dental implants. Patients should have healthy gums and enough bone to hold the implant. They should be committed to good oral hygiene to ensure the implants last. Patients with chronic disorders such as diabetes or heart disease, those who smoke, or those who have had radiation to the head or neck area should be evaluated on an individual basis.
What is the Difference between a Dental Implant and a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge literally bridges the gap created by one or more missing teeth. Dental crowns are placed on the adjacent existing teeth and a false tooth is placed in the gap. In order to make room for the crowns, part of the natural teeth will be removed. On average, a bridge only lasts 5 to 7 years. Dental implants do not impact surrounding teeth and can last a lifetime.
Is the Procedure Painful?
Most patients report minimal discomfort during the procedure. Local anesthesia may be used and after the procedure any mild soreness can be treated with over the counter pain medications.
How Long Does the Process Take?
The dental implant procedure varies from one patient to the next. In some cases, Dr. Sheen is able to complete the procedure in 1 visit to his office. Some patients need a longer healing period and a temporary crown will be placed on the implant. After the implant is fully healed, anywhere from 3 to 6 months later, the permanent denture or crown will be placed. The procedure can be so lengthy (and successful) because the implant actually integrates with the bone.