WHAT ARE DENTAL IMPLANTS?
The best method for permanently replacing a missing tooth is with a dental implant. Just as dental implants have emerged as the preferred choice for tooth replacement, the St. Clair Perio approach has become the preferred model for dental implant treatment; including immediate dental implant placement and temporization.
Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that provide a permanent base for fixed, replacement teeth. Compared to dentures, bridges and crowns, dental implants are a popular and effective long-term solution for people who suffer from missing teeth, failing teeth or chronic dental problems. Because they fit, feel and function like natural teeth, dental implants are quickly becoming the new standard in tooth replacement.
What makes dental implants feel completely comfortable and secure?
Dr. Yair Lenga uses a medical-grade titanium implant fixture that, over time, actually fuses to the living bone cells of the jaw. This union forms a strong and durable anchor for your new teeth, meaning there’s no slippage or other movement (which can sometimes happen with dentures). There are also no problems eating with dental implants, no need to repair them regularly and no more worrying about smiling freely and openly.
Dental implants typically have three parts:
1) The implant: A screw that serves as a root for your new teeth. This is what permanently attaches to your jaw.
2) The abutment: A permanent, but removable by your periodontist, connector that supports and holds a tooth or set of teeth.
3) The crown (or prosthetic tooth): This is the part of the tooth that you can see. It’s usually made of zirconium or porcelain for durability and good looks.
You can use dental implants to replace a single tooth, multiple teeth or a full upper and/or lower set of teeth.
If you need to restore a full arch, you may be a perfect candidate for the all-on-four treatment. Our surgeons will place four implants and then attach a full arch of teeth, giving the procedure its name (all teeth, only four implants).
What Are the Advantages of Dental Implants?
There are many advantages to dental implants, including:
1. Improved appearance.
2. Dental implants look and feel like your own teeth. And because they are designed to fuse with bone, they become permanent.
3. Improved speech. With poor-fitting dentures, the teeth can slip within the mouth causing you to mumble or slur your words. Dental implants allow you to speak without the worry that teeth might slip.
4. Improved comfort. Because they become part of you, implants eliminate the discomfort of removable dentures.
5. Easier eating. Sliding dentures can make chewing difficult. Dental implants function like your own teeth, allowing you to eat your favorite foods with confidence and without pain.
Improved self-esteem. Dental implants can give you back your smile and help you feel better about yourself.
6. Improved oral health. Dental implants don’t require reducing other teeth, as a tooth-supported bridge does. Because nearby teeth are not altered to support the implant, more of your own teeth are left intact, improving long-term oral health. Individual implants also allow easier access between teeth, improving oral hygiene.
7. Durability. Implants are very durable and will last many years. With good care, many implants last a lifetime.
8. Convenience. Removable dentures are just that; removable. Dental implants eliminate the embarrassing inconvenience of removing dentures, as well as the need for messy adhesives to keep them in place.
How Successful are Dental Implants?
Success rates of dental implants vary, depending on where in the jaw the implants are placed but, in general, dental implants have a success rate of up to 98%. With proper care (see below), implants can last a lifetime.
How are Dental Implants Placed?
Once you and Dr. Yair Lenga have decided that implant therapy is right for you, the examination has been done, and Dr. Lenga has chosen the appropriate implant system, surgery will be scheduled.
The surgical treatment is usually performed in one or two stages depending on the quality of bone present at the time of consultation.
An immediate dental implant is used to replace a tooth immediately after its extraction. Front teeth that are replaced with an immediate dental implant are supported with a natural-looking temporary crown. The temporary crown is attached at the same time on implant placement via a connecting “abutment” to form a complete tooth-replacement system. Posterior teeth that are replaced with an immediate dental implant are supported with a healing abutment to maintain the shape and health of the supporting tissues. You must have enough gingival thickness and bone surrounding the site in order to be eligible for an immediate dental implant.
For situations in which people with systemic (general body) disease like diabetes, or smokers, where healing may be compromised, a two stage implant approach would be advantageous to allow “submerged” healing to occur and to avoid any outside influences (plaque or biting forces) from compromising healing.