Maintaining a beautiful smile is about more than just appearance. Having a complete, aligned set of teeth can help prevent major dental problems and improve oral healthcare. This makes it doubly important to fill any gaps from missing teeth. The idea of oral surgery can sound scary at first, but our team of professionals at Charvet Dental uses the latest techniques and tools to ensure your absolute comfort and safety. In this blog, we’ll go over the different types of dental implants available and your implant options as you work your way to a brand-new smile.
Getting Dental Implants
Dental implants are special tools used in the industry to cover up spaces caused by missing or decaying teeth. When a tooth is lost due to injury or disease, a person can experience complications such as rapid bone loss, problems with speech, or changes to chewing patterns that result in discomfort.
Most implants consist of 3 parts, an implant body, the abutment connector and a small screw. Most modern dental implants are generally made of titanium, as it’s a material that the body naturally accepts. The body, also known as a crown, typically looks and functions like a fake tooth.
Types of Dental Implants
There are three common types of dental implants: Endosteal, subperiosteal, and zygomatic.
Endosteal is the safest and most common, followed by subperiosteal, and zygomatic is the last and most complex.
Endosteal implants are the most common type of dental implant. They are suited for most patients but require a sturdy jawbone for the post to fuse. They function as placeholder posts shaped like screws. Endosteal implants are placed along the jawline where the false teeth are fitted. Once it’s healed, the false teeth can be placed onto the post to fit in with the surrounding teeth. Once the procedure is done, it will require time to fuse with your jaw and create a stronghold.
Another type of dental implant is the subperiosteal implant. This is the main alternative to endosteal implants. Instead of being fixed into the jawbone, subperiosteal implants rest on top of the bone but still under the gum. A metal frame is placed under the gum with a post attached to it. The gum then heals around the frame to hold it in place. The false teeth are secured to the poles that come from the gum. This procedure is only used if the patient doesn’t have enough jawbone for an implant to be placed or if the person in question just doesn’t want to go through with intensive oral surgery to add bone to the area. Maybe this next implant will suit you better if this applies to you.
Zygomatic implants are the least common type of dental implant available to you. It is the most complicated procedure and should only be done if you don’t have enough jawbone for the endosteal implant. The implant is placed in the patient’s cheekbone rather than the jawbone.
Now that you know about the three types of implants, now you might want to know about implant techniques.
The Dental Implant Process
The dental implant procedure will typically consist of three separate phases. This can take six to nine months to complete.
PHASE ONE: PLANNING
If you decide on dental implant treatment, your dentists will examine the bone structure around the missing tooth using x-rays or a 3D scan. The proper bone height, width, and density are necessary to properly place an implant in the best location for the best results. If a patient has a partially missing tooth, the remains of the tooth will have to be removed before the procedure. If the bone density is low, bone grafting may be necessary before we can place the implant. This ensures your bones can support pressure from biting and chewing once your implant is placed. If bone grafting is required, patients will usually need to wait three months for the area to heal before moving on to the second phase. Phase two can start immediately if no bone grafting is required.
PHASE 2: PLACEMENT
During this phase of the treatment process, the titanium implant will be inserted into the predetermined location. Patients are allowed 3-4 months for healing time before moving to Phase 3. You’ll be scheduled for regular check-ups with your dentists throughout this healing period.
PHASE 3: RESTORATION
The final phase is implant restoration. Your doctor will place a natural-looking dental crown on top of the abutment or attach a fixed bridge to the implant posts. If you need a complete arch replacement or a denture, the entire teeth apparatus will be attached to the implant posts. Whatever your specific situation, the implants will restore full functionality and significantly improve the overall appearance of your smile!
Caring For Your New Implants
It’s essential to keep regular maintenance once you receive your new implants. Like any other tooth in your mouth, your implants will require regular check-ups with your dentist. While your implant will not decay, the bone supporting the implant can still be affected by gum disease without proper care. Keep your teeth, gums, and dental work clean by brushing and flossing twice daily. If you are having trouble cleaning around your implant, try using a proxy brush or Waterpik for the hard-to-reach places for deeper cleaning.
Routine dental care with your dentist will help maintain your implant’s health and longevity. Still, you should avoid activities that can crack or damage your teeth or implants, like chewing ice, grinding your teeth, or using them as tools to open things. More active patients could also benefit from using a mouthguard during activities with an increased risk of mouth injury.
Be sure to inform us about any problems that come up, big or small. The sooner we can catch an issue, the easier it is to avoid a costly or painful repair.
Treat Your Smile With Charvet Dental
At Charvet Dental Center, you and your entire family can enjoy personalized dental care in a comfortable and compassionate office environment. Our expert staff proudly serves dental patients of all ages in Metairie and our surrounding communities. If you or someone you know is looking for dental care, please give us a call. We are happy to assist everyone in the Metairie area on their oral healthcare journey.