What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is widely considered the ideal replacement for a missing tooth. However, it’s more appropriate to say that a dental implant is an ideal replacement for a missing tooth’s underlying root structure. All teeth consist of the visible crown and the root, which holds the tooth in place, attached to the underlying jawbone. Most teeth replacement options, such as dental bridges and dentures, only focus on replacing the visible crown. As such, they might look like real teeth, but they don’t provide the same functionality as actual teeth. However, a dental implant replaces the tooth’s underlying root structure, establishing the ideal base for a dental crown, dental bridge, or denture.
A dental implant is surgically drilled into the jawbone underneath the empty socket of the missing tooth. The dental implant is made of titanium, a biocompatible material that encourages bone formation via osseointegration. This is a process wherein your body produces new bone tissues, thereby securing the implant to the surrounding jawbone. Over time, the implant becomes a firmly attached part of your dental anatomy, indistinguishable from natural teeth. Once the dental implant is secured, the dentist attaches an abutment, which, in turn, supports the dental crown, bridge, or denture. As such, a dental implant is an ideal replacement for a missing tooth — it replicates the appearance and functionality of natural teeth.
What are the types of dental implants?
A single-tooth implant refers to a dental implant that supports one dental restoration, i.e., the dental crown. This is ideal for patients with one missing tooth or multiple missing teeth from different locations. The dentist attaches one dental implant per missing spot, and each implant supports one dental crown. As such, a single-tooth implant is suitable for dental restorations at the ratio of 1:1, i.e., one crown per implant.
A multiple-teeth implant refers to bridge-supported dental implants. If you’re missing multiple teeth in a row, you can get only one or two implants to restore multiple teeth. For example, if you’re missing four teeth, the dentist can attach a dental implant to the locations of the corner teeth. After attaching the dental implant, you receive one dental bridge to cover the entire area. This allows you to replace four teeth with only two implants, making it efficient.
All-on-4 Same-Day Teeth
All-on-4 same-day teeth refers to denture-supported dental implants. This solution is ideal for edentulous patients, i.e., individuals missing all their teeth. If you don’t have any teeth in your upper or lower jaws, the dentist can attach four implants in strategic locations around your jaws. After attaching the implants, the dentist can attach the complete denture to the four implants, thereby restoring an entire arch of missing teeth. You don’t need 10+ implants for the entire jaw. You can also get the denture on the same day as your implants, thus replacing all your missing teeth in one session.
What is the truth about dental implants?
The truth about dental implants is that they’re the ideal replacement for your natural teeth. Once you get dental implants, you can eat whatever you want. Titanium implants can withstand the full bite force, so you can easily bite into hard foods, such as steak. You should still avoid biting into ice cubes or other such objects because they might damage the dental crown or bridge, but you can eat whatever you could eat with natural teeth.
Furthermore, dental implants also support the underlying jawbone, thus preventing jawbone disintegration. When you lose your natural teeth, your jawbone starts disintegrating, which eventually makes the lower half of your face sag, giving you an aged appearance. Dental implants support the jawbone and prevent resorption, which, in turn, makes you look younger. Dental implants are the only restorations capable of supporting the jawbone.
What are the stages of a dental implant?
Everyone goes through a unique dental implants procedure. Some patients need dental extractions before the dental implant surgery, and some require bone augmentation procedures to prepare the mouth. Furthermore, some dental implant procedures can be completed in one session, whereas others necessitate an extended recovery period between the surgery and the dental restoration. The following are the most common stages of dental implant surgery.
Dental Implant Surgery
After the consultation and preparation, your dental implant journey starts with the preliminary surgery. The dentist drills an access hole into your jawbone and attaches the dental implant. The dental implant is firmly lodged into the jawbone.
Osseointegration + Impressions
Osseointegration is a process wherein the jawbone tissue grows around your titanium implant, making it a firmly rooted part of your dental anatomy. This may take several months, and it happens in the background. Meanwhile, the dentist takes impressions of your mouth to prepare the dental restoration.
After the recovery period, the dentist attaches an abutment to the implant or implants. The abutment is a connective device for the dental implant and prosthetic. Finally, the dental prosthetic is attached to the abutment to restore your smile.
How soon after extraction can I get an implant?
Most patients need to wait around 10 weeks after a dental extraction before receiving an implant. That waiting period is necessary to heal completely.
How long does a dental implant procedure take?
The dental implant surgery usually concludes within an hour. However, you may need to wait several months before getting the dental prosthetic for the implant. In some cases, the dentist can attach the prosthetic to the implant the same day as the surgery.
What is the average cost of dental implants?
The average cost of the dental implants procedure depends on numerous factors, including the type of implant, the location, the number of implants, the type of dental restoration, and other factors. Please talk to your oral surgeon to receive a quote for your dental implants.
Schedule an appointment with a dentist specializing in dental implants.
VIP Dental Implants is one of the most reliable dental clinics for dental implants in Houston, TX. We provide a wide range of dental implants for different requirements, such as single-tooth implants, multiple teeth implants, and all-on-4 implants. Please schedule an appointment to discuss your dental implants procedure in Houston, TX.