Dental implants are metal screws that are placed inside the jawbone and offer support to your replacement teeth. When implants are placed in the jaw, they fuse with your natural bone structure, giving the jaw more strength and stability. When performed at Jonathan J. Golab, DDS, PA, dental implant surgery is one of the safest dental procedures.
How Do Dental Implants Work?
A dental implant is a prosthetic screw-shaped device made of titanium, which is a hypoallergenic metal. It is typically 8mm to 16 mm long and is inserted into the bony socket of the jaw where previously your natural tooth used to be. A rod-like structure called an abutment is attached to the implant and serves to form a stable connection between the implant and the crown or artificial tooth.
When the jaw heals, the titanium bonds to the jawbone through a process called osseointegration. This prevents the implant from moving away from its position when a crown or dental bridge is fitted to it, and when the biting pressure is exerted. Osseointegration can take anywhere between three to six months, or even longer in some people. After this, the implant can support the artificial tooth.
One of the major benefits of implant surgery is that no adjacent teeth need to be filed down to hold the artificial teeth in place, as is the case with regular dental bridges. Implants also help to retain the shape of your jaw as they prevent loss of bone through resorption.
Types of Implants
According to the American Dental Association, two types of implant surgeries are safe:
Endosteal implants are surgically placed directly into your jawbone. Once the wound has healed, the surgical site is opened again and a post or abutment is placed on the implant. This post can support one single crown or a group of pontics or artificial teeth on a dental bridge.
This surgery involves a metal framework that is embedded into the jawbone just beneath the gums. As the gum heals, the frame becomes affixed to the jaw. Metal posts attached to the frame protrude out from the soft tissue. Artificial teeth can then be mounted into these posts. Subperiosteal implants work well on people with low bone height.
Candidates for Dental Implants
Dental implants are a viable option for anyone who has lost single or multiple teeth and would like to restore the form and function of their smile. However, there are some conditions that can limit their use:
People who have low bone density may initially be poor candidates, but this issue can also be resolved through bone augmentation. To improve the density of your jawbone, we will make an incision in your gums to expose the underlying bone. We will then pack the space with bone grafting material and then suture the site closed. The graft material will result in bone regeneration and increase your chances of having a dental implant.
If your missing teeth are not allowing you to eat or speak properly and wreaking havoc on your confidence, call us at (469) 444-7919, and we will see if you are a viable candidate for a dental implant procedure.