We take great pride in our cosmetic dentistry, and we will never ‘short cut’ your smile. There are many options in dentistry to help restore and/or fix missing teeth. While all of the options available have pros and cons, our doctors at Deer Run Dentistry strongly believe that providing patients with an option that meets both their functionality AND oral health needs, while also being a great long term solution is a win-win for our patients!
Single Tooth Implants
With the many advancements in dentistry over the last decade, one of the most functional advancements is that of the dental implant. The dental implant has several advantages over other tooth replacement options. The implant not only looks and functions like a natural tooth, but it can replace a single missing tooth without compromising the health of the neighboring teeth. The dental implant not only replaces the tooth above the gum line, but it also acts to replace the tooth root by being placed into the bone. This integration into the jawbone, helps to keep the bone healthy and intact, preventing the natural deterioration that happens when a tooth root no longer resides within the jawbone.
Dental implants are a great long-term option. A single dental implant is not only more esthetic, but it overall meets both the needs of functionality and a patient’s long-term oral health by providing stability within that missing tooth space for the bone.
Implant-Supported Bridges and Implant-Supported Dentures
When a patient has multiple missing teeth and is in need of a bridge option, an implant-supported bridge provides the same benefits as an individual implant. An implant-supported bridge replaces not only the lost/missing natural teeth, but it also replaces some of the tooth roots when more than one tooth is missing. Unlike traditional bridges, an implant-supported bridge does not need support from the teeth next to it. The implants that are placed and integrated into the jawbone, provide much better support for that bridge AND prevent that natural deterioration that occurs when a tooth root has been removed. Because the bone in your jaw actually stabilizes around the implants, and implant supported bridge or denture tends to be more comfortable and stable. This allows you to bite and chew naturally without fear of mobility in your denture or bridge.
What is Involved in Implant Placement?
Many kinds of implants are available. Treatment can take only one day, or it can take several months, or somewhere in between. Your doctor and you can discuss which type of implant is best for you.
Implant treatment usually involves three main steps:
- Placing the Implant
Dr. Rentz will use x-rays or other digital images to carefully find where the implant should be placed. These images also ensure that the implant is being placed in the most optimal spot for integration with the bone. At your placement appointment, he will surgically place the implant into your jawbone using a guide created just for you and your jawbone. You may experience some swelling and/or tenderness after surgery. Implant placement appointments typically only take approximately 1 hour.
- The healing process may take several months
The reason why an implant is so strong is because the jawbone grows around it and holds it in place. This process takes time. Some patients might need to wait up to several months until the implant is completely healed before replacement teeth can be attached to the implant. Other patients can have implants and temporary teeth placed all in one visit.
- Placement of the replacement tooth or teeth
For a single tooth implant, Dr. Quartuccio makes a new tooth that is customized just for you, called a dental implant crown. It is designed to look just like your other teeth. For multiple missing teeth, implant-supported bridges and dentures are also custom-made to look like your natural teeth and to fit your mouth. The replacement teeth are attached to the implant posts that were surgically placed in your jawbone.
Replacement teeth usually take some time to make. In the meantime, Dr. Quartuccio may give you a temporary crown, bridge or denture. This will help you eat and speak normally until your permanent replacement teeth are ready.