Tooth loss has many causes. Common causes include gum disease, facial trauma, clenching or grinding, and severe tooth decay. In some cases, the teeth may fall out on their own. In others, the teeth are beyond saving with crowns or other treatments and therefore need to be extracted. No matter how you lose your teeth, the effects are all the same. Tooth loss affects your smile, impacts your abilities to eat and speak, and even affects the health of your jawbone. Traditionally, missing teeth have been replaced with bridges or dentures. Today, OHIOSmiles provides an alternative with dental implants.
Modern Replacement For Missing Teeth
Dental implants are a unique approach to replacing missing teeth. This modern development was the result of an accidental discovery in the 1950s. Today, it is the most popular tooth replacement option. Dental implants rely on the use of small titanium posts. These posts are surgically implanted into your jawbone, where they are integrated into the bone as you heal. Over time, the posts stabilize in your jaw and become the supports for the ceramic crowns that serve as your replacement teeth.
Where traditional tooth replacement options have specific applications, dental implants are quite versatile and can be used to meet some different needs. There are several different types of implants available:
- Single tooth. One post supports a single crown, replacing one single tooth.
- Multiple teeth, or implant supported bridge. This treatment is designed to replace two or more consecutive missing teeth. The number of posts needed depends upon the number of teeth you are missing and your jawbone.
- Full arch replacement. This treatment is used to replace an entire arch of missing teeth. Typically, 6 to 8 posts are used to support your teeth. However, if you do not have the bone mass necessary to support these posts, you may be a candidate for the All-on-4® Treatment Concept.
Placing Dental Implants
The procedure for placing dental implants requires surgery. Small incisions are made in the gum tissue, exposing the bone underneath. We then drill holes into the bone and place the posts inside. The gums are sutured closed around the posts, leaving just a small amount exposed above the tissue. Finally, temporary teeth are placed, and you then go home to heal.
Healing takes anywhere from several weeks to several months. The exact length of time it takes for you to heal depends on many factors, including your health and the number of posts placed. During this time, your bone fuses to the posts, stabilizing them in your jaw. Several follow up visits will ensure this is happening properly and that there are no complications. Once you have fully healed, we then remove the temporary teeth, take impressions, and create your final implant restorations.