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Rolling Plains Dentistry
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Dental Implant


3D rendering of a dental implant and its components (screw, abutment, and crown) being placed into the jawDental implants are a durable, secure, and gorgeous restoration option to replace missing teeth. Unlike traditional prosthetics like dentures and bridges, implants provide a long lasting solution that mimics natural teeth all the way down to the root, which allows them to match the function of natural teeth. Unlike with traditional dentures, patients have no problems eating or speaking with dental implant supported dentures.

Dental implants also match the appearance of natural teeth. They are capped with a custom made crown that mimics the patient's natural teeth. There are many benefits to choosing dental implants including security, function, durability, cosmetics, and the stimulation of bone growth in the jaw.

If you want to restore your smile with the most permanent solution available, please call the Rolling Plains Dentistry team at 940-663-5353 to schedule an appointment today, and find out if you are a good candidate for dental implants.

What Are Dental Implants?


Dental implants are small titanium posts that are surgically placed into the jawbone beneath the gums. These posts serve as artificial tooth roots that connect to an abutment and anchor crowns, an implant-supported bridge, or implant-supported dentures to the jaw. The titanium material used for the implant is biocompatible, it fuses with the jawbone in a process called osseointegration. This fusion provides stability and strength to the implant and in turn, the restoration that is anchored to it.

Types of Dental Implants


There are two types of dental implants. The choice depends on the bone structure of each patient's jaw. When we lose teeth, the density of the jaw deteriorates from the lack of stimulation of tooth roots. Over time, the jaw can lose so much bone density that it cannot support the typical endosteal implants, so subperiosteal implants must be used.

Endosteal Implants are the most commonly used type of implant. They are directly inserted into the jawbone and after the surrounding bone has healed, a secondary surgery is performed to connect a post, the abutment, to the original implant. Finally, a custom crown, an implant-supported bridge, or implant-supported dentures are attached to the abutment(s).

Subperiosteal implants consist of a metal frame that is fitted onto the jaw just below the gum tissue. Once the gums have fully healed, the frame becomes fixed to the jawbone. Abutments are attached to the subperiosteal frame through the gums, and the restoration is attached to the abutments.

The Dental Implant Procedure


A patient's dental implant procedure begins with a detailed examination by our team that includes X-rays, and possibly CT scans. These images are taken to determine if the patient has the bone density required to support implants, as well as the placement of the implants. If the jaw is not dense enough for implants, a bone graft may be required before placement, or a different restoration option may be needed.

Next, we place the dental implants into the jawbone while the patient is under local anesthesia. The placement procedure is followed by a healing period of several months. The dental implants stimulate osseointegration, where the jaw fuses with the implants, but bone growth takes time.

Once the healing period is complete, an abutment (the post that connects the implant to the crown, bridge, or denture) is attached to the implant.

Lastly, an individual crown, an implant-supported bridge, or implant-supported dentures are custom made to mimic the patient's natural teeth, and fitted to the abutment to complete the process.

Benefits of Dental Implants


Dental implants hold many advantages over other options for tooth replacement.

First, implants are very durable and last for many years. With proper care, they often last a lifetime.

Second, unlike a traditional bridge, implants do not require altering the other teeth. This preserves more of your natural teeth, which improves oral health overall.

Third, dental implants eliminate the inconvenience of removing dentures to clean and soak them. Implants are brushed just like natural teeth. In addition, implants don't require messy adhesives to keep them in place, and they stay secured.

Fourth, they are designed to fuse with bone, they become permanent, and feel much like your own natural teeth.

Lastly, eating and speaking is the same as it's always been. Dentures often slip. This can make chewing difficult and can alter speech. Dental implants function just like your own natural teeth. Eating and speaking stays the same as always.

Considerations and Risks


Every surgical procedure carries some risk. Dental implants do come with some risks to consider, but these problems are rare. Infection at the implant site is rare, but does happen on occasion. There is a slight risk of damage to surrounding oral structures, such as other teeth or blood vessels, nerve damage, and sinus problems if implants placed in the upper jaw protrude into the sinus cavities. But we take painstaking care to mitigate all of the risks associated with dental implants.

Who Can Get Dental Implants?


The ideal candidate for a dental implant has good general health, and oral health as well. Adequate bone density in the jaw is required to support the implant, but a bone graft may be an option to repair the density of the jawbone. In addition, the best candidates have healthy gum tissues that are free of periodontal gum disease.

Dental implants are a durable and effective solution to replace missing teeth. They provide a secure base for artificial teeth that look, feel, and function just like natural teeth. Whether you are missing one tooth or several, dental implants offer a restored, functional smile, and revitalized oral health. They boost confidence and improve well being overall. The accessibility and affordability of dental implants continues to improve. It is a viable option for a growing number of people seeking a permanent solution to tooth loss.

If you want to restore your smile with a permanent solution, and would like to find out if you are a good candidate for dental implants, please call the Rolling Plains Dentistry team at 940-663-5353 to schedule an appointment today.
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