Dental implants have rapidly become the preferred choice for tooth replacement among patients who are missing one or more teeth. Compared to other forms other tooth replacement, dental implants offer many benefits and most closely mimic the functionality and strength of a natural tooth root.
Implants are surgical-grade rods – usually made of titanium – which are inserted into the bone of the upper or lower jaw. There, the bone ossifies around the implant in the same way it would support a natural tooth root. Implants can provide a strong foundation on which to place an individual crown or other dental prosthetic.
Dental implants not only aid in smile restoration, but also in preventing bone loss. When teeth are lost, the bone that once supported them begins to deteriorate. This can lead to a change in facial appearance and also create challenges for patients who notice their dentures no longer fit like they once did. Implants help stop the progress of bone resorption by allowing for continued stimulation of the jaw bone when a patient eats or chews.
When patients are missing several or all of their teeth, a combination of implants and dentures may be used to provide an affordable and efficient replacement. Traditional dentures are held in place only by a dental adhesive. Here at Fornaris Dental Care, we recommend instead using implants to support and secure dentures in place, maximizing your comfort and preventing embarrassing and frustrating denture movement.
Known as overdentures, these custom-made prosthetics anchor to underlying implants. Since the implants help prevent bone degeneration, the dentures may continue to provide a good fit for many years while also allowing patients to chew and speak for effectively. As an added benefit, better chewing can lead to better digestion and improved long-term health.
There are different types of overdentures available. Dr. Fornaris will work with you to determine which type of overdenture is right for you based on your individual needs and preferences:
These dentures are fully removable and rest directly on the gum line. They contain retention attachments that connect to implants in the upper and/or lower jaw.
These dentures are also fully removable, but rests on a metal bar that is attached to implants in the upper and/or lower jaw. Attachments integrated into the denture connect to matching attachments located along the metal bar.
Fixed dentures contain a metal bar and attachments that are screwed directly into implants within the jaw. These dentures can only be removed by a dental professional.
Dental implant placement is a surgical process. First, the damaged or diseased teeth must be taken out if they have not already been removed. There must be sufficient jawbone remaining to support the new implant. Patients with insufficient bone may need to undergo grafting before qualifying for an implant.
An incision is made in the gums to expose the bone. A metal post is placed inside a hole drilled within the underlying bone. The gums are sutured shut, and you may be fit for a temporary prosthetic while you wait for the implant to become integrated with the surrounding bone. This process can take several months. Dr. Fornaris will attach an abutment to your implant(s) either during the initial procedure or after the implant is ready to support a denture or crown.
Only a private consultation with Dr. Fornaris can help you determine if dental implants are right for you. For more information or to request your appointment, contact the team here at Fornaris Dental Care today. We look forward to serving you soon.