Your teeth do a lot for you every day. When you lose them, all of the essential jobs they perform are affected. Chewing becomes a challenge. It’s harder for people to understand you when you speak. Moreover, of course, your smile is impacted. On top of all of this, your jawbone weakens and starts to change shape, which can cause adjacent teeth to shift and your face to age beyond your years. Dentures have been the treatment of choice for many decades, but at National Dental Douglaston, we can provide you with an alternative – dental implants.
WHAT ARE DENTAL IMPLANTS?
Dental implants are the latest option available for replacing missing teeth. Unlike dentures (both complete and partial), and bridges, implants require a surgical procedure. Small, titanium rods are inserted into your jawbone. Your jawbone fuses with the rods as the surgical sites heal, and the implants essentially become “roots” that support your new teeth. This is also a unique attribute to implants, as other forms of replacement rely on your gums, or your remaining healthy teeth, for support.
ARE THERE DIFFERENT TYPES OF IMPLANTS?
Everyone’s needs are different. You may have lost one tooth, or you may have lost several consecutive teeth in different areas of the mouth. Alternatively, you may have lost all of your teeth. There are several different types of dental implants, all designed to meet the specific needs of each patient:
- Single tooth implants: These implants are designed to replace a singular missing tooth. One implant is placed in the space and supports a single crown that fills it.
- Multiple teeth implants: If you have lost several consecutive teeth, a multiple tooth implant can be an alternative to a fixed bridge or a partial denture. The number of implants required for your specific situation depends on a few different factors, such as the number of teeth being replaced and the condition of your jawbone.
- Implant supported dentures: If you have lost an entire arch of teeth, or all of your teeth, implant supported dentures are an option. 6 to 8 implants are placed per arch, and they work together as a support network for your brand-new set of teeth.
- Bone Graft: Normally, for implants to be placed, your jawbone needs to have sufficient strength. If your jawbone is weak, whether from wearing dentures for a while, advanced gum disease or some other condition, it may not be able to successfully support the implants required. A bone graft is one option.
PLACING YOUR DENTAL IMPLANTS
Implants are placed with the help of a surgical procedure. After a local anesthetic is administered, incisions are made in your gums. Holes are drilled into your jawbone, and the implants placed. Your gums are stitched closed, leaving a small portion of the rods exposed.
Depending upon your procedure, it can take several weeks to several months for you to heal, during which time we monitor your progress. When you have healed, abutments are placed on the implants, and we take impressions of your mouth. The impressions are used to design and fabricate your custom replacement teeth. Once ready, they are affixed permanently in place.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF IMPLANTS?
There are several benefits associated with implants:
- You can eat all of your favorite foods again.
- With better chewing, your digestion (and your overall health) improves.
- Your speech improves.
- Improved oral health.
- Easy to care for.
- Your jaw remains healthy and strong.
- Your smile is restored, which can then restore your confidence.
If you are missing teeth, implants may be an option for you. For more information, or to schedule your consultation, contact National Dental Douglaston today at (718) 557-9882!