Dental Implants and Implant Overdenture

Dental implants are a form of restorative dentistry where artificial tooth replacements are used for functional and cosmetic purposes. Beyond providing people with esthetic enhancements, implants also serve to stop or prevent jaw bone loss and can often be a good alternative to dentures or crowns.

Why Replace Missing Teeth?

Many people think a missing tooth doesn't necessarily need to be replaced however recent studies show that a missing tooth greatly increases your chances of losing more teeth and can lead to other oral complications. When a tooth falls out, the portion of the jaw that supported the tooth has no purpose, so it withers and atrophies. The remaining teeth are then supported by a weakened jaw, and the increased workload put on the remaining teeth can cause them to shift. The shift in teeth can cause spaces between them, food impaction, and tooth decay. If tooth loss is not prevented or remedied quickly in the next four to eight years the remaining teeth will begin to fall out as well. Studies show that up to 19% of adjacent teeth are lost as the result of a missing tooth. That could mean five more lost teeth if you started with a full set!

Why Do We Lose Teeth?

There are a few different reasons why we lose teeth, and dental implants can generally remedy all of them. Teeth are lost because of:

  • Genetics
  • A failed root canal
  • Tooth decay
  • Periodontitis (gum disease)
  • Trauma to the mouth
  • Excessive wear and tear

Deciding If Implants are Right for You

Your consultation with your dentist will help determine if you are in good enough health and have adequate bone structure to receive implants. During this consultation, your dentist will perform a thorough examination of your teeth and gums. To be sure that you have sufficient bone structure for placing an implant, a combination of X-rays and computer tomography scans (CT scans) may be taken as well as to determine the exact location the implant should be placed.

The Implant Procedure

The implant procedure is typically a three-step process which will get your teeth looking and feeling completely natural and healthy. This is possible because of the structural and functional connection between the dental implant and the living bone. Implants can be placed in a single visit but require a period of osseointegration. Osseointegration is the direct structural and functional connection between the living bone and the implant. This process takes anywhere from three to six months to heal, and is integral in the success of the implant. The first step of the implant process is the initial consultation, as described above. This visit will make the determination of whether you are eligible and begin the formation of a customized treatment plan specific to your mouth and appearance goals.

On your next visit, your dentist will prepare your jaw for implantation. This process involves actually inserting the restoration device into your jaw. Once the implant is in place, your dentist will secure surrounding gum tissue over the implant and place a protective cover screw on top to allow the area to heal and osseointegration to occur. After your healing process which typically takes three to six months, your dentist will uncover the implant and place your permanent crown in place. You may be asked to come back to the office for regular check-ups to ensure the success of your procedure.

Success Rates

Dental implants are a common and ideal tooth-replacement option, because they replace the missing tooth's root as well as the crown. They do not require support from adjacent teeth, and they keep the jawbone strong because it has a purpose – to support the tooth's root. Dental implant patients do not experience increased tooth decay or sensitivity as with bridges. They have success rates of 95% to 98%, and can also be used to secure complete dentures, partial dentures, or bridgework. Maintenance is easy as well, brush at least twice a day and floss regularly. Good oral hygiene will allow your dental implants to last a lifetime.

To learn more about dental implants and the various types, contact Suisun City Dental. Our helpful and friendly staff will happily assist you in answering any questions you may have and aid you in feeling as comfortable as possible. Contact Suisun City Dental Today! We serve Suisun City, Napa, Vacaville, Fairfield, Concord and all of Northern California!