What are dental implants?
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is placed in the jaw to hold replacement tooth or bridge. The root of the tooth is replaced with a screw-like post made of titanium. Because of the unique properties of the metal, over time the bone will heal around the implant and bond with it. The damaged or missing tooth is then replaced with an artificial tooth on the post that looks and functions like a real tooth.
What are the two types?
There are two basic types of dental implants:
1. Endosteal, this means an implant in the bone. This is the most common type, and includes screws, cylinders, or blades that are surgically placed in the jawbone and hold a prosthetic tooth or teeth.
2. Subperiosteal, which means on the bone. These are placed on top of the jaw, and a metal framework of posts that protrude from the gum hold the prosthetic tooth or teeth in place. These are intended for those that can’t wear dentures, but have minimal bone height.
It is important to understand that how a dental implant surgery is performed will depend greatly on the type of implant but also on the individual’s jawbone. Patients who lack sufficient bone structure may not be good candidates for implants, and will have a different treatment recommended for their situation.
How long does the procedure take?
Normally dental implant procedures take several surgeries over a course of months, which can be painful and require a lot of healing time. However, Utah is at the cutting edge of dental implants. Using technology from Sweden’s Nobel Biocare, a world leader in dental implant technology, some Utah oral surgeons are able to offer implants that are completed much more quickly. This technology allows for single, multiple or full-mouth tooth replacements within just a few days.
How does this work? In this case, rather than a separate base for each tooth, surgeons can implant just two screws which then hold the entire prosthetic in place. In order to achieve this, a 3-D scan will be performed, and along with virtual reality software the surgeon will be able to create an accurate representation of the jaw. Then a guide will be created, a plan for the procedure. The implants will be created ahead of time using CT scan. Thus, the day of the procedure, the only thing that needs to be done is the individual must be fitted for the teeth, and can be done in as little as an hour. With computer assistance and precise calculations, a complete set of dental implants, that are secure enough to be used quickly, often the same day, is possible.
Why should I choose dental implants?
Why choose implants? Implants are a great alternative to other means of replacing missing or damaged teeth, namely dentures or bridgework. The biggest benefit is that they fit better, which means they deliver better functionality and less discomfort. Because the teeth are implanted into the jaw itself like a real tooth, they function much the same as regular teeth, with a more solid support system.
Dental implants have evolved over time, and these artificial teeth truly are on the cutting edge. Utah has a high number of dental providers per capita, and offer excellent care for dental implant procedures as well as the latest technology. This is a great option for replacing missing or damaged teeth with functional, comfortable prosthetics.
Not everyone is a candidate for this cutting-edge technology, as it requires bone quality that will support the prosthesis. Check with your oral surgeon to determine if you are a good candidate for this cutting edge technology.
For more information, or to make an appointment to discuss your situation, call our office today at 801-566-5117.