What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are an artificial foundation for replacement teeth. They become fused to your jaw bone after insertion, which provide stability and support for either fixed (crown, bridge) or removable (denture) replacement teeth that are made to match your natural teeth. Dental implants have been used successfully for many years.
Dental implants involve two phases:
- Surgical insertion of the implant
- Placement of replacement teeth on the implant
Who Should I See For Implant Treatment?
Periodontist are dental specialists that study, treat and maintain the supporting structures of teeth, including the gums and bone. In addition to completing 4 years of dental school, periodontists have an additional 3 years of surgical training. Expertise in managing and rebuilding the supporting structures for implant placement is extremely important because it provides the basis for long term stability. Periodontists have the special knowledge, training, repetitive experience, and facilities needed to produce a favorable functional and aesthetic result. Dr. Towe is a Board Certified Periodontist and a Clinical Professor teaching Periodontics and Dental Implants at the Virginia Commonwealth University.
What Are Dental Implants Used For?
There are three basic uses for Dental Implants:
- As an artificial root for an implant crown to replace one tooth
- As anchors for an implant bridge to replace multiple teeth
- As anchors for removable implant denture or overdenture to replace an entire arch of teeth
What are the benefits of dental implants?
- Most aesthetic. Dental implants look and feel like your own teeth
- Prevent bone loss. Dental implants prevent bone and gum tissue loss that can happen with traditional methods of replacement, such as bridges or dentures
- Prevent premature aging. Dental implants preserve the jawbone, which can prevent premature aging and that “sunken-in” look
- Easier eating. Dental implants function like your own teeth, giving you more chewing power, and allowing you to eat your favorite foods with confidence and without pain
- Improve speech. Dental implants prevent movement, or “slipping” of your dentures. Movement of dentures can preventing you from speaking properly
- Improve comfort. Because implants are great anchors, they allow you to have a much smaller prosthesis, instead of the traditional bulky denture
- Improve self-esteem. Dental implants can give you back your smile and help you feel better about yourself
- Least invasive. Dental implants don’t require cutting down the neighboring teeth, as a tooth-supported bridge does
- Easier to keep clean. Individual implants allow easier access between teeth, improving oral hygiene
- No age limit to treatment. Research has shown similar success rates regardless of age. In fact, we have successfully placed dental implants in patients ranging in age from 19 yrs – 90+ yrs
- Most durable. Dental implants never develop decay, or require root canal. Implants are very durable and with good care, many implants last a lifetime
How Successful Are Dental Implants?
Success rates of dental implants vary, depending on each unique patient’s health history, healing capability, habits as well as location of dental implants in the jaw. But in general, dental implants have a success rate of up to 98%. With proper care, implants can last a lifetime.
Am I a Candidate for Implants?
Most people with a missing tooth or teeth are candidates for dental implants. There is no age limit to those who can receive dental implants, and there are many techniques available to rebuild the foundation for implants if bone loss has occurred. Dr. Towe is experienced in rebuilding lost bone and has training to treat patients with a variety of medical conditions. Dr. Towe uses the most up to date implants as well as growth enhancing materials which result in decreased healing time. In many cases the implants will be ready for crowns in just a few weeks, or in some cases at the same time with implant placement. Please contact our office for a free consultation even if you have been told you cannot receive a dental implant.