Dental implants have proven to be one of the most significant advances in the history of restorative dentistry, helping people replace one or more missing teeth with results that look and feel natural. These treatments can restore both the form and function of the teeth, while avoiding many of the problems that can be associated with more traditional methods of tooth replacement. Dental implants from our dentists in Germantown and the Memphis area are designed and placed for the most accurate fit possible, making them look so natural that you may have a hard time telling the difference between the implants and your original teeth.
If you have questions about dental implants, or if you would like to schedule a consultation, please contact Germantown Dental Group today.
- What Are Dental Implants?
- Dental Implants Benefits
- Dental Implants vs. Dentures
- Dental Implants Candidates
- Dental Implant Types
- Dental Implants Procedure
- Dental Implants Safety
- Dental Implants Results
- Dental Implants Cost
- Dental Implant Alternatives
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are small titanium posts that are designed to replace missing teeth in a way that mimics the function of natural tooth roots. Unlike dentures, dental implants do not involve a removable prosthetic appliance that sits along the gums. Dental implants are actually inserted into the gums and anchored to the jawbone, where they should fuse to the bone during a process called “osseointegration.” A permanent dental crown attached to the post then serves as the replacement tooth, which can lead to results that feel and appear like an original tooth.
What Are the Benefits of Dental Implants?
- Next best thing to natural teeth
- Built to last. Dental Implants are a long term solution
- Keep your teeth in your mouth – Not in a cup!
- Protect healthy bone
- Avoid unnecessary treatment on adjacent teeth
- Implants don’t get cavities
Are Dental Implants Better than Dentures?
While dentures can be an effective solution for patients who have missing teeth, dental implants are a significant advance in the field of restorative dentistry and they offer many distinct advantages. Traditional dentures require pastes or messy adhesives to stay in place, whereas dental implants are fixed in place and fused to the jawbone. As a result, dental implants also eliminate the discomfort, irritation, or “slippage” along the gums that many patients with ill-fitting dentures experience. These procedures are completely customized to each patient’s needs and the implants themselves are designed to provide results that look, feel, and function like natural teeth.
Am I a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?
Ideal dental implant candidates have one or more missing teeth, adequate jawbone density to support the implant, healthy gum tissue, and good overall health. Those who have gum disease can often benefit from periodontal treatment and be subsequently re-evaluated for dental implant candidacy. Dental implants are not recommended for patients with certain medical conditions, such as uncontrolled diabetes, which can compromise the healing process. Patients who are currently undergoing radiation or chemotherapy are also not ideal candidates for dental implants. If you are not a candidate for dental implants, we can recommend some advanced alternatives that can help you achieve your goals.
What Are the Types of Dental Implants?
Dental implants can be utilized for a diverse range of concerns. From a single missing tooth to a full set of missing teeth, there are various types of dental implant options designed to address a number of issues with treatment that is tailored to each patient’s unique needs and goals. Dental implant options include:
Single Tooth Implants
Whether you have lost a tooth due to extraction, injury, or other factors, a single dental implant can often be used to replace it with results that enhance both function and appearance. Even just one missing tooth can have a significant effect on chewing and speaking. Bone degradation can also occur, which can negatively impact your oral health. A single tooth implant can address these concerns with results that last decades with the proper care.
An implant bridge can often be an ideal solution for multiple missing teeth that are adjacent to each other in the same area of the mouth. This option can be helpful for patients who do not have adequate jawbone density in the exact area of missing teeth, but do have enough density in the surrounding areas. A traditional dental bridge utilizes artificial teeth along with dental crowns on surrounding teeth for support. Implant bridges use a somewhat similar system; however, instead of relying on natural teeth surrounding the missing teeth for support, an implant bridge uses dental implants on each side with crowns in-between. Implant bridges can be particularly beneficial for patients who tend to clench and grind their teeth during the night.
If you are missing a significant number of teeth, an implant-supported denture may be a good option for your needs. Implant-supported dentures can often serve as a good alternative for patients who are not candidates for full dental implant replacement on each missing tooth, as well as for those who simply wish to avoid replacement with a full set of dental implants. This option can be used to replace multiple or complete sets of missing teeth on the upper and/or lower dental arches. A select number of dental implants will be strategically placed in the areas of missing teeth. Then, a customized denture appliance will be affixed to the implants. The implants can provide the denture with a strong foundation of stability and support, reducing the need for denture pastes and adhesives. Implant-supported dentures allow patients to attain effective missing teeth replacement that feels more like natural teeth, eliminating many of the drawbacks associated with traditional dentures.
Our experienced dentist can talk with you about our dental implant options and help you decide on the best treatment for your goals.
What Does the Dental Implant Treatment Process Involve?
During your initial consultation here at Germantown Dental Group, one of our dentists will perform a comprehensive oral evaluation to find out if this procedure is right for your needs. Once our cosmetic dentist determines you are a candidate, a customized treatment plan will be created to yield the most comfortable, natural-looking results.
A dental implant is comprised of a titanium post that acts as the new tooth’s root and a dental crown that is made to match the appearance of the surrounding teeth. The titanium post is surgically implanted during the first stage of the procedure at a precise position and angle to yield a comfortable fit. Over the next three to six months, this titanium post should fuse to the jawbone, giving the new tooth superior stability and essentially functioning like a natural tooth root. Once the titanium post has fully fused to the jawbone, the custom crown can be attached by our dentist and the dental implant procedure will be complete.
Are Dental Implants Safe?
All surgery entails some risk, and the dental implants procedure is no exception. Our dentists carefully plan each dental implant treatment to achieve results that feel comfortable, fit securely, and look natural. The dentist will also carefully review detailed post-operative instructions before the day of the procedure so you can further minimize any risks during the healing process. It’s important to note that dental implants are composed of a biocompatible material that has been utilized in implant dentistry procedures for many years. Our dentist will explain all of the potential risks of this procedure with you in detail, and we welcome any questions or concerns you would like to address.
How Long Do Dental Implants Last?
Once the titanium post fuses to the jawbone, dental implants are considered a permanent part of the mouth. Dental implants are created to look and function just like normal teeth, and can be cleaned and cared for the same way. Maintaining good oral hygiene habits can prolong the longevity of your dental implants. With proper care, patients can expect their dental implants to last for decades.
How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?
The cost of dental implants can vary widely, depending upon a number of factors unique to each patient. At Germantown Dental Group, we want to help all of our patients attain a healthy, beautiful smile. With that in mind, we accept an array of payment methods and work with respected financing companies that can provide qualified applicants with low-interest rates and low monthly payment plans.
What Are Some Alternatives to Dental Implants?
Some individuals may not be candidates for full dental implant procedures; or, they may simply wish to explore other options that may be more ideal for their needs. Fortunately, there are some alternatives to full sets of dental implants that can also provide effective missing teeth replacement. Traditional dental bridges can often be a good option for patients who would like to replace multiple missing teeth that are located right next to each other. Implant-supported dentures (described in the Types of Dental Implants section above) can also be a terrific option for patients who have numerous missing teeth but cannot replace each and every one with a dental implant. Our dentist will be happy to answer your questions about the range of treatments available and help you determine the missing teeth replacement procedure that works best for your needs and goals.
For more information on dental implants, or to schedule a consultation to determine if you are a candidate for this procedure, please contact us today.