Fortunately for our patients, dentures are not the only alternative to tooth replacement. Synthetic structures known as dental implants are placed where the root is normally present, and anchored to the jawbone. The jawbone acts as a base for artificial teeth or permanent bridges. Sometimes, the dentist may use an implant to attach dentures.
However, not everyone may be suited to attach a dental implant. The patient must have good bone density and a strong immune system to let the dental implant take hold.
The good thing about dental implants are that they look and feel like natural teeth, and are made of titanium.
Many patients want to know how much time it takes to get it done. It can take a few visits to complete the process. For the first visit, the dentist will put an anchor into the jawbone and the area should heal for a couple weeks or months. During this time, your tissue will grow around the anchor to secure it firmly in place.
At a follow-up visit, an artificial but realistic looking tooth is attached over the implanted anchor.
Types of dental implants
Dental implants include full upper, lower, anterior, posterior, and single tooth:
Full upper replacements
Dental implants replace the upper set of teeth. The procedure includes:
- Replacing missing tooth roots with dental implants, where the gum line covers them
- Six months is the healing period that dental implants need in order to take
- The implants are revealed and extensions attached
- The dentist affixes replacement teeth to the dental implants and extensions
For some patients, the full upper replacements might be removed by the dentist.
Full lower replacement
Dental implants replace the lower set of teeth. Most of the time, a full lower replacement uses between four and six dental implants near the front, and a denture uses them as an anchor. This means that denture adhesive may not be required.
In posterior replacement, we use dental implants as a replacement for the molars and bicuspids. In this procedure is the same process as the anterior replacement.