Dental implants are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth that look, feel and function like natural teeth. The person who has lost teeth regains the ability to eat virtually anything and can smile with confidence, knowing that teeth appear natural and that facial contours will be preserved. The implants are tiny titanium posts which are placed into the jawbone where teeth are missing. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. In addition, dental implants can help preserve facial structure, preventing the bone deterioration which occurs when teeth are missing.
Dental implants are changing the way people live! With them, people are rediscovering the comfort and confidence to eat, speak, laugh and enjoy life.
- Improved confidence
- Stability during eating
- Bone and gum preservation
- Improved dental hygeine
- Superior esthetics
- Nutritional benefits
- Better Health
Evaluation for Dental Implants
If, like many others, you feel implant dentistry is the choice for you, we ask that you undergo a dental/radiographic examination and health history. During these consultation visits, your specific needs and considerations will be addressed by either Dr. Cromwell or by a Periodontal or Oral Surgeon referred by our practice. Your questions and concerns are important to us and our team will work with you very closely to help make your procedure a success.
Dental Implant Procedure
Dental implants are metal anchors, which act as tooth root substitutes. They are surgically placed into the jawbone. Small posts are then attached to the implant, which protrude through the gums. These posts provide stable anchors for artificial replacement teeth.
For most patients, the placement of dental implants involves two surgical procedures. First, implants are placed within your jawbone. For the first three to six months following surgery, the implants are beneath the surface of the gums, gradually bonding with the jawbone. You should be able to wear temporary dentures and eat a soft diet during this time. At the same time, your restorative dentist designs the final crown, bridge or denture, which will ultimately improve both function and aesthetics.
After the implant has bonded to the jawbone, the second phase begins. The surgeon will uncover the implants and attach a small healing collar. Dr. Cromwell can then start making your new teeth. An impression must be taken. Then posts or attachments can be connected to the implants. The replacement teeth are then made over the posts or attachments. The entire procedure usually takes six to eight months. Most patients do not experience any disruption in their daily life.
Dental Implant Crowns, Bridges & Dentures
A single prosthesis (crown) is used to replace one missing tooth – each prosthetic tooth attaches to its own implant. A partial prosthesis (fixed bridge) can replace two or more teeth and may require only two or three implants. The number of implants varies depending upon which type of prosthesis (removable or fixed) is recommended. A implant retained denture (overdenture) is a removable prosthesis that attaches to a bar or ball in socket attachments, whereas a fixed prosthesis is permanent and removable only by a professional.
Implant Retained Dentures (Overdenture)
Although many patients have no problem wearing an upper denture, some people find it difficult to wear and eat with lower dentures. The lower overdenture is retentive. This allows for patients to be happier, confident, more relaxed, have better digestion and be more social. Most importantly, implant overdenture patients are systemically healthier because they can chew their food better and eat more fruits and vegetables.
One option is to have two implants placed in your lower jaw and a denture made that snaps onto these implants. This option allows your lower denture to be more stable while chewing than without implants. However, there will still be movement of your lower denture, and sore spots will occur if any food particles, especially seeds, are caught under it. As with all removable replacement teeth, you still will need periodic appointments for denture adjustment.