The American Dental Association deems dental implants to be a safe and effective approach to tooth replacement.
With success rates of up to 98 percent, implants can be a smart choice for many patients. Performing these dental restorations requires the extensive knowledge and specialized care of an experienced oral surgeon.
Evaluating Jaw Health for Dental Implants
Adequate bone structure is necessary to support dental implants. Your oral surgeon will evaluate the health of your jaw to determine if it is strong and dense enough to create a solid base for the replacement teeth.
Bone loss is quite common, however, resulting from aging, diseases like osteoporosis and periodontitis, injury, wearing dentures or missing teeth.
If advanced bone loss has caused the jaw to become too thin or soft, a bone graft will be required prior to implant placement. The grafting process takes a few months in total, as the newly transplanted tissue must be properly healed before it can provide a good foundation for the tooth restorations.
Determining the Number of Dental Implants
If you are replacing one or two missing teeth, or if you need tooth restorations in different areas of the mouth, individual implants likely will be used.
Each missing tooth will have its own new replacement root and crown.
If, however, you have multiple missing teeth in one area of your mouth, you may only need two implants. One can serve as the support on each end of the restoration, with a dental bridge between. Or, if you have a healthy natural tooth that can serve as an anchor, only one implant may be needed for a dental bridge.
If you have enough missing teeth to require dentures, a few strategically placed implants can hold permanent dentures in place, significantly reducing common denture issues like discomfort and instability.
Proper Placement of Dental Implants
Planning implants takes a great deal of precision on the part of the oral surgeon.
The procedure involves placing titanium posts in the jawbone, where they naturally integrate with the surrounding bone tissue during the course of healing. In order to fit well in the mouth and act as replacement roots, these posts must be carefully chosen to be the right type and length.
It is also necessary to install the posts at the proper location and angle to match the root positions of the natural teeth.
The oral surgeon also must create the crowns that will be permanently attached to the titanium posts to function as replacement teeth. Crowns are designed to mimic the shape and color of your natural teeth.
Tooth impressions and digital construction software often are used to design crowns for dental implants.
Are you ready to permanently replace your missing teeth? Contact the experienced dental restoration experts of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah to schedule a consultation.
With convenient office locations in Toole, South Jordan and Cottonwood Heights, we are northern Utah’s premier experts in dental implants and tooth restorations.