You’ve got questions.
Dr. Harrell has answers.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are the most advanced method of replacing one, several or a full set of missing teeth. The base of an implant is a titanium screw that is placed directly into the jawbone. It is the root for the artificial tooth. A small post, called the abutment, sits on top. The replacement tooth, which is made of dental porcelain and referred to as the crown, is attached to the abutment. When placed by an experienced dentist, dental implants will match the look and function of natural teeth for years to come.
Who is a candidate for implants?
The good news is that nearly every patient who wants implants can have them. There may be oral issues to address (such as jawbone loss or gum disease) or medical conditions that could complicate the implantation procedure (such as respiratory or heart ailments, diabetes or bleeding disorders) but these concerns can usually be dealt with. One important thing to bear in mind is that age alone is no factor when it comes to implant suitability. If you are in good health, you are never too old.
What should I expect after the procedure?
With regard to your recovery, nothing dramatic. You may want to schedule a few days to relax if you have that luxury. However, many patients return to their normal routines the very next day. It all depends on how busy you are and how well you can deal with the minor post-treatment pain (for which you are sent home with pain relievers).
What is the success rate for implantation?
Dental implants have a phenomenal 95% success rate, according to clinical studies. This figure is the highest among any method of teeth replacement. Among the factors that cause implant failure, most are under the control of the patient. Smoking, drinking heavily, not following post-operative orders or post-operative dietary restrictions all lower the chances of success. Some medical conditions, such as diabetes, can also play a role in the success and longevity of one’s implants. These conditions can be discussed and planned for during the initial consultation.
What types of dental implants are available?
Four common varieties of dental implants are installed. 1) A Single Dental Implant is used to replace one tooth. It is placed directly into the open space in the teeth. 2) An Implant Bridge replaces multiple teeth. The bridge is anchored by implants on either side of the gap and the attached crowns replace the teeth in between. 3) The All-on-4 method is used when all teeth are missing. As the name implies, four implants in the jaw support a full arch of prosthetic teeth. 4) In the final usage, implants serve as attachment points for a standard denture to increase stability and performance.
What if my missing teeth have led to bone loss?
If there is significant bone loss, you may need a bone graft prior to receiving implants. While this may sound drastic, it is actually a minor procedure that can be performed in one visit and only needs a few months to completely heal. When the jawbone is fully restored, the implant process can proceed.
What exactly is an All-on-4 implant?
The All-on-4 is a non-removable, implant supported appliance that instantly gives patients a full arch of beautiful, incredibly durable, completely functional teeth. It is the ideal replacement option for patients who have lost all or most of their natural teeth or are experiencing failure due to advanced gum disease. In addition to patients without teeth, All-on-4 treatments are commonly sought out by individuals with failing dental work or who are unhappy with the limitations of their traditional dentures.
Are there major differences between the All-on-4 and dentures?
There are a number of significant differences.
- To start, the All-on-4 is fixed in the mouth and can only be removed by the dentist. This means that cleaning the All-on-4 is just like typical tooth care, with daily brushing and flossing.
- Unlike dentures, the All-on-4 is nearly equal to the strength of your natural bite so you can eat all the foods you love without discomfort or concern that you may break your appliance.
- The stability of the All-on-4 means there’s no slipping or shifting so you have complete confidence in social situations.
- The All-on-4 is supported by your jawbone rather than your gums so there’s no irritation, inflammation or sores in the mouth.
- Because the All-on-4 is implanted into the jawbone, it keeps the bone stimulated and prevents deterioration. The fit of dentures has to be readjusted periodically specifically due to bone loss.
- Patients with the All-on-4 save the money that would otherwise be spent on denture-related products, such as adhesives, cleansers and soaking liquids.
- The All-on-4 is slimmer than the traditional denture so it looks more natural in the mouth. It also doesn’t cover the hard palate so the gag reflex isn’t triggered and the ability to taste isn’t impeded, both of which can occur with dentures.
What is an implant supported denture?
The major complaint of denture wearers is that their dentures feel loose and unstable. This issue is easily corrected by using implants as attachment points to hold the dentures securely in place. The patient’s dentures remain removable (as opposed to an All-on-4, which is fixed) and are simply snapped on and off as needed. In most cases the patient’s current dentures can be used with only slight modifications. Denture stabilization with implants improves the experience of wearing dentures in every way.
If you have other questions about dental implants or Harrell Dental Implant Center, don’t hesitate to contact us. You can reach us by phone at (704) 206-1330, or use the contact form below to submit your questions via email.