What is a Dental Implant?
Dental Implants are generally made from Titanium and are essentially a screw that is placed into the jawbone. The name dental implant actually comes from the anchor portion of the entire tooth, the implant. Dental Implants take on the role of an ‘anchor’ within the mouth, which is then used to fasten ‘false teeth’ into position. They are screwed down into the hole formerly occupied by the tooth root. Atop the implant a post is attached and an artificial tooth atop that. The three parts make up the dental implant. Once in place, a dental implant behaves and looks just like a natural tooth.
Benefits of Dental Implants
- Improved appearance
- Improved speech
- Improved comfort
- Easier eating
- Improved self-esteem
- Improved oral health
Dr. Green discusses Dental Implants
Why should I replace a missing tooth?
Dental Implants provide amazing stability for patients, aiding with biting pressure as well as reducing irritation and oral ulceration generally experienced by denture wearers. People think missing teeth are simply a cosmetic issue, and if the missing tooth isn’t in an obvious location they often opt to not replace the tooth or teeth.
When to get Dental Implant?
Beyond the cosmetic issues of a gap in your teeth, there are dental problems:
- The teeth surrounding the missing tooth or teeth no longer have pressure on them to stay in place, so they slide over into the gap. This movement can change your bite and overall alignment.
- When you chew or bite, a good deal of force in involved. The tooth takes this energy and transfers it down the tooth into the jawbone beneath. This energy signals the jawbone to build new bone mass, keeping it healthy. When a tooth is missing, that energy doesn’t enter the jawbone and it begins to deteriorate. Over time, this leads to a sunken appearance in the area as the jawbone collapses inward.
- A missing molar can keep a person from eating certain foods, due to the difficulty in chewing them. This can lead to nutritional issues.
- Missing teeth can create whistling sounds when speaking.
Why choose an implant over a bridge?
In nature, bone is stimulated by the presence of tooth roots. This allows the bone to maintain its strength and structure. Likewise putting an implant in the bone where a tooth is lost or missing will also maintain the structure of the bone. With a bridge this stimulation is gone.
Once placed, a dental implant behaves exactly like a natural tooth. The patient can eat any foods without worrying about the bite strength. Bite force transfers down into the jawbone, as it does with a natural tooth. This doesn’t happen with a bridge. Plus, when placing a bridge the teeth on both sides of the missing tooth or teeth need to have crowns placed atop them to anchor the bridge. This involves shaving down some of the healthy top portion of the teeth to make room for the crowns. In contrast, implants don’t affect the adjacent teeth at all.
Can I be a Dental Implant candidate?
Not everyone can have a dental implant, at least not immediately. If a person has been missing a tooth or teeth for some time, the jawbone below the gap may have resorbed to the point that there isn’t enough bone mass to safely hold the implant. In that case, the jawbone will need to be built back up with bone grafts before an implant can be placed. Otherwise, just about any adult of any age can have an implant.
Dental Implants Procedure
The implant process involves four distinct steps:
- Implant placement — Dr. Green first anesthetizes you. Then he exposes the jawbone. If needed, he drills a tiny hole into the socket that held the former tooth root. Now the titanium implant is screwed down into the socket.
- Osseointegration — The second step is what separates implants from other replacement options. Once the implant is placed, the jawbone is allowed to grow around the implant, making it part of the jaw. This process, called osseointegration, takes from three to six months.
- Attaching the post — Once your jawbone has adopted the implant you return and we attach a post, called an abutment, to the implant. Now it’s time for your gums to heal for approximately six more weeks.
- Attaching the false tooth — When your gums have healed, you’re ready to have the crown (false tooth) attached to the post. Dr. Green uses only porcelain crowns in his practice, so it will beautifully match your surrounding teeth and provide unparalleled strength and durability. Once we attach the crown, you can go out and immediately enjoy your new tooth.
Can implants anchor dentures or bridges?
If the patient is missing many teeth, it may be too costly to replace each tooth with an implant. In those cases, the patient may opt for partial or full dentures. But implants are still effective here, acting as anchors for the dentures. Implants placed in strategic locations can allow dentures to be permanently attached to the implants, removing the need to remove the dentures each night. The implants also add strength when biting and chewing, and they keep the dentures from slipping.
Dental Implant Before and After
Recovery and long-term care
As the mouth heals, approximately two to six months after surgery; the bone and Implant begin to fuse together. Small posts or abutments are then attached to the Implants, which are used to anchor Crowns, Bridges or Dentures. Implants can last the rest of your life; the key is home hygiene. If you provide good, attentive home care, coupled with regular professional cleanings with Dr. Green, your implants will last for decades.
Because they are anchored into the jawbone, implants behave just natural teeth. Their care is no different. Daily brushing and flossing is all that’s required.
Why choose Dr. Green for Dental Implants in Dayton?
Dr. John Green has over 30 years experience providing Cosmetic Dentistry to the families in Dayton, Ohio. He has served as a faculty member of the Misch Implant Institute since 1998, and is also a Diplomat of International Congress of Oral Implantologists since 2004. He is highly experienced, knowledgable and well-known for his incredible dental work. Visit Dr. John Green’s bio page to learn more.
Schedule a consultation
Dr. John T. Green is a Cosmetic Dentist located in Dayton, Ohio. If you would like to learn more about Dental Implants and see if this is the right solution for you, call (937) 293-3402 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Green.