About Dental Implants

About Dental Implants

Bridges and dentures are popular treatments for replacing missing teeth. Another option is now available with dental implants. These small titanium posts come in several types and offer advantages over bridges and dentures. Smile Builder in Merrillville, IN can help you find the tooth restoration treatment for you.

What is a dental implant?

Dental implants are not actual tooth prosthetics as dentures or bridges are. They are inserted directly into the jawbone and act as tooth roots. A dental prosthetic must then be placed on top to restore function to the teeth.

Dental implants can be placed to treat:

  • Tooth decay
  • Root canal failure
  • Gum disease
  • Tooth injury or trauma in the mouth
  • Excessive wear and tear of the teeth
  • Congenital disabilities (defects by birth)

Types of implants

Two-stage implants: the implant (an endosteal implant) is surgically placed directly into the jaw bone. After several months of healing, another minor surgery will be needed to expose the implant and attach the dental restoration.

Single-stage implants: are slightly longer than two-stage implants. With this type of implant (a subperiosteal implant), the abutment can be fixed right after the healing period without needing to expose the implant first.

Procedure

To place a dental implant, a small hole called a pilot hole will be drilled into the site of the missing tooth. The hole will be carefully and slowly widened to make room for the implant, which will be placed and secured with gum tissue. A cover screw will be placed on top to aid healing and fusing with the bone (through a process called osseointegration). It will take approximately six months for the implant to fuse into the jaw bone and for the site to heal. At the end of that period, the restoration will be fixed onto the implant.

Advantages of dental implants

  • Feel like natural teeth (more stable than dentures or bridges)
  • Last a lifetime
  • Improve speech and eating
  • More comfortable than dentures or bridges
  • Makes oral hygiene easier

To receive implants, you will need healthy gums and adequate bone structure to support the implants. To determine whether or not you would be a good candidate for the procedure, see your dentist at Smile Builder in Merrillville, IN.