Dr. Owens is heading to a continuing education course in Mexico so he can expand his dental implant knowledge and skills! If you’re jealous or feeling left out, don’t worry. We’ll bring the fun to you! And by that, we mean here’s a blog about implants. Unfortunately, we can’t help you with the trip to Mexico part.
Types and Other General Information
Anyway. Let’s start by testing your dental implant IQ! Break out a pen and a piece of paper, and let’s get started. And no scrolling down to peek at the answers!
Dental Implant: what is it?
- A plant that looks like tooth, which you’d place in a garden or a sunny corner of your house
- A tiny robot that goes inside your mouth
- An artificial structure that prevents bone loss and supports a prosthetic tooth
- The tooth fairy’s lesser-known cousin. He wears a cape!
How many types of dental implants are there?
In order to be eligible for a dental implant, you should…
- Be in good health – generally and orally
- Have enough bone in your jaw to support the implant
- Possess healthy gum tissue that is not afflicted with periodontal disease
- All of the above
True or false: dentures can be a kind of implant.
Let’s find out how you did!
- An artificial structure that replaces a missing tooth, meant to prevent bone loss and support a prosthetic tooth. A dental implant is a device (most commonly, a screw) placed in your gum to replace a missing tooth root. When a tooth is extracted, or the root is lost through injury or periodontal disease, bone loss can immediately begin. An implant can help counteract this problem by maintaining the integrity of your jaw bone and preventing bone loss, and it can later be capped with a crown that will aesthetically and functionally replace the missing tooth.
- Two — There are two types of dental implants: endosteal and subperiosteal. Endosteal implants integrate directly with the jawbone, while subperiosteal implants rest on top of it.
- All of the above — You’ll want to be in good health to receive a dental implant, especially orally. Since implants work with the gum tissue and bone in the mouth, you need to ensure you have a solid foundation by maintaining strong oral health.
- True! Dentures are a full-mouth prosthesis, which can affix to multiple implants in your gums. You can also replace a couple of teeth at once with a bridge (a sort of smaller denture), or replace a single tooth with just one implant.
As mentioned above, there are only two types of implants (endosteal and subperiosteal), but multiple options to choose from among these types:
- Single Tooth Implant — This is your best bet for maintaining the integrity of your jaw bone, as the implant actually replaces an entire tooth root. With a bridge or a set of dentures, the areas surrounding the implant may become compromised. The procedure is as follows: your dentist, periodontist or oral surgeon will place the implant and may add a healing cap to help solidify the structure. We then wait for a few months before you come by the office for Dr. Owens to check that the implant is healing well and has fully integrated into the bone. If everything looks good, we taken the final impression, send things off to the lab and a few weeks later we have you back to add the finishing touch! Single implants can be an excellent replacement for front teeth or molars as they functionally and aesthetically imitate you real teeth so closely.
- Multiple Tooth Implant-Supported Bridge — This procedure allows for the replacement of several teeth. In this procedure, the prosthesis is affixed to the gums via the same mechanisms as an individual tooth replacement. And, unlike fixed bridges, this type of implant replacement is done without relying on neighboring teeth for support.
- Full Teeth Implant-Supported Denture — You can think of this procedure as an extended version of an implant-supported bridge. Implants inserted into the gum bond with the jaw bone, and as they heal, they provide the foundation for a full set of dentures. Again, because the implant combines directly with the jaw bone, this option preserves bone density better than other, non-implant-supported dentures.
“Is there a way to check bone levels before going through with an implant?”
We’re so glad you asked! As a matter of fact, there is, and our newest member of staff can help out with that. Earlier this month, we welcomed a 3-D X-ray, called a Conebeam, to our office (we’re currently taking name suggestions, by the way… send us yours in the comments below!). This machine takes a panoramic image of your face by capturing hundreds of photos per second. Then, the computer synthesizes these photos to produce a cohesive 3-D image of the teeth and the jaw bone. This allows the dentist to see what kind of canvas he’s working with, and to determine the best course of action for a patient’s unique situation.
For Additional Information:
Learn more about implant options at our office by clicking here.
Visit the American Academy of Periodontology’s website, which was also instrumental in the writing of this article!
Lastly, contact us to set up an appointment if dental implants are something you’re considering. We would be happy to answer any further questions you may have about the types, procedures, and technology involved in creating your best smile!