Cleveland Dental Implants
If you are like many people, you may have lost one or more permanent teeth during your lifetime. And you may also know how hard it is to get back the chewing ability and appearance of your own natural teeth. If that's the case, you'll be happy to know that modern dentistry has good news for you and the millions of people like you who have to deal with the eating problems and appearance embarrassment caused by missing teeth. Dental implants represent a big step toward giving you new, artificial teeth that look natural, feel great and function with strength and security. Stable chewing and a great smile can become a reality for you.
What Is a Dental Implant?
Each dental implant consists of three components:
- The implant body, or anchor, which is surgically placed into bone
- The post to which the new artificial tooth or teeth are attached
- The new tooth or teeth
In fact, dental implants can help to replace one tooth or several teeth. In addition, implants can be used to provide support for a partial denture or act as attachments for a full denture.
Are Implants Right for Me?
To help evaluate your potential as an implant patient, a comprehensive examination including appropriate x-rays, study models, and bite registration will be performed.
In addition to helping determine if you can receive dental implants, this information will also help determine which type of implant will best suit your needs and exactly where it should be placed.
As good as all of this may sound, it's important that you understand that as much as you may need them, there may be reasons why you can't get dental implants. Because of the surgical procedures required for implant placement, you must be in good health, have healthy gums, have enough good, strong bone in the right places, and be ready to make an extra effort to have regular dental checkups and meticulous oral hygiene.
How Are Implants Placed?
Implants require an important time and budget commitment. They typically cost more than full dentures or removable partial dentures, and the process may require up to nine months from start to finish.
The implant body, or anchor, is placed surgically. The careful and precise surgery may take several hours, and up to six months may be needed to allow your bone to grow around the implant and hold it securely and permanently in place. A second, more simple surgery may be needed to get the implant body ready to receive the post. Special care is taken at all times during and after these procedures to ensure that you are completely comfortable. After the healing is complete, restorative teeth are created and fitted to the post portion of the implant. Because of the precision required, these final steps in the restoration of the implants may require several months.
An exciting implant alternative is the mini-implant. These small diameter implants require minimally invasive surgery, can be restored immediately, and are less costly than standard implants. Mini-implants have specific indications and cannot be placed in all situations. Dr. Jaffe can discuss this newest option.
Benefits & Risks
Implants can provide new teeth that look more natural and allow you to chew with more security, that is, more like natural teeth. Patients who have difficulty with conventional full or removable partial dentures may enjoy improved function with implants.
Sometimes an implant can cause "stress" to the surrounding bone. If bone loss results from this situation, or if poor daily cleaning creates an infection, the implant may loosen and it may have to be removed. An implant failure may result in difficulties in further restorative efforts. Other possible complications include poor implant position due to available bone support, compromised esthetics, implant or component fracture, inadequate healing response, or damage to adjacent natural teeth.
How Do I Take Care of My New Implants?
Since there is always the chance of a gum infection, proper brushing, flossing and cleaning of your implants, along with regular dental checkups, are all extremely important for long-term success. Dr. Jaffe will give you specific instructions about the care of your implants. On a regular basis, we will evaluate the gum tissue around the implant and the attachment of the implant within the bone. With reasonable care, you can expect your implants to provide years of excellent service.
What Materials Are Used to Make the New Teeth Which Are Attached to Implants?
Replacement teeth are made of porcelain, metal, or polymer resin-the same types of materials used to create conventional dentures, removable partial dentures, and conventional crowns and bridges. The implant bodies and posts are made from a number of materials, including titanium which is often used because of its compatibility with natural tissues such as bone and gum tissues.
After the Implants Are Placed, How Are They Used to Replace Teeth?
The new teeth which are attached to the implants may be created in several different forms to satisfy each patient's individual needs. Replacement of a single tooth is usually accomplished with a single crown created to fit over the post attachment to the implant body. Several teeth missing in one area can be replaced with several crowns joined together to form a conventional bridge, which is then attached to posts which are attached to two or more implants. In some special situations, a bar may be fitted over posts attached to several implants. Such a bar may serve as the support for a removable partial denture or a full denture, depending on the number and location of the missing teeth.
If you are considering dental implants, meet with Dr. Jaffe, learn as much as you can, and then make the decision that best suits your needs. If you're having difficulty chewing, if lack of bone support means that your dentures are often uncomfortable, or if you're looking for a way to replace one tooth or several teeth in one area, implants could be the solution. Dental implants could make a big difference in the way you look, the enjoyment and nutrition you get from a wider variety of your favorite foods, and in the overall quality of your life.