Years of wear and tear, injury, or poor care can hurt the look and function of your teeth. The Riverstone Dental team change lives every day through restorative dentistry. Rejuvenate your smile today!
Losing your teeth is more than an aesthetic issue.
Missing teeth can cause pain and difficulty chewing. Remaining teeth are subject to increased risk of tooth decay and gum disease, as well as excessive wear and misalignment as they shift to fill the gap.
Missing teeth also cause both bone and muscle loss in the face, which dramatically reduces your ability to chew, and makes you look and feel older.
Bridges and dentures are common methods of replacing missing teeth, but dental implants offer a permanent, aesthetically pleasing alternative that can restore confidence in your smile.
Combined with other periodontal procedures like bone grafts, sinus lift, crown lengthening or ridge augmentation, dental implants can improve the appearance and function of your teeth.
Here’s everything you need to know about dental implants and related procedures.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants consist of three parts:
- An artificial root manufactured to exact specifications, made from surgical-grade titanium. Titanium is a bio-active metal that binds with the bone in your jaw.
- An abutment, which provides a base to which the prosthetic tooth is attached
- A prosthetic tooth, made from porcelain or resin composite, colored and shaped to look natural against your remaining teeth
Implants can be used to replace a single tooth, or replace multiple or an entire row of missing teeth with only a few anchors. A full implant is capable of replacing an entire row of upper or lower teeth using just four anchors, eliminating the need for dentures. If you have been suffering with partial or full dentures, are missing teeth, or feel you need teeth extracted, do not hesitate to call us to be evaluated for implants.
How to care for yourself after your procedure
Each procedure is different, your doctor will give you specific instructions about aftercare, but here are some general guidelines to follow:
Don’t brush your brush or floss for the first few days following your dental implant procedure. Use a special mouthwash or salt water rinse instead.
Resume your normal brushing and flossing routine after 2-3 days.
If you had a ridge modification, crown lengthening or sinus lift, you may also need antibiotics and/or an antibacterial mouthwash.
If your procedure required stitches and they aren’t absorbable, you’ll need to come back in after 7-10 days to have them removed.
Depending on the procedure and your level of discomfort, you may need to temporarily change your diet, and you may require pain medications. Ice packs can also help with swelling and discomfort.
How to care for your dental implants
Care for your dental implants the same as you would for the rest of your teeth. In addition to flossing once and brushing twice a day, it’s important to see your dentist at least twice a year for professional cleaning, an examination and X-rays.
Dental implants are strong, and typically last a long time, they can be broken, just like your own teeth.
Avoid chewing hard candies or ice, and don’t use your teeth as tools to open packages.
Why should you choose a dental implant?
Dental implants can improve your appearance, and more importantly restore your oral health and keep your jaw strong and healthy. Dental implants can be performed in nearly all patients with missing teeth. If you have missing teeth or severe cavities, gum disease and other conditions that may require a dental implant, please contact us.
We can answer any questions you may have and schedule an appointment for an assessment to see if dental implants are a good solution to your problems.
How do I know if I am a candidate for a dental implant(s)?
If you are missing one or more teeth, you may be a candidate for a dental implant(s) if you are missing one or more teeth. However, some precautions are necessary for certain medical conditions, as well as for growing children.
Implants vs. bridges
Although a bridge can restore chewing function and achieve an acceptable esthetic outcome, the bone under the replacement tooth won’t be stimulated by chewing and is often reabsorbed into the body, creating a gap between the gums and the bridge. A dental implant does not require grinding of the adjacent teeth, and it stimulates the underlying bone, enhancing long-term esthetics.
What are the advantages of having a dental implant(s)?
Implants are made of composite titanium metal that bonds to the jawbone through a process called osseointegration. You won’t have to worry about your implant-supported restoration slipping or making embarrassing noises. Implants also don’t decay like the teeth that anchor fixed bridges so bone loss is generally not a problem.
Do I need socket preservation?
Preserving the socket by adding or replacing missing bone to existing bone is often essential to ensure the success of a dental implant. After a thorough diagnostic examination, your dentist will recommend the treatment that is best for you.
A proper fitting denture is very important. A good fit ensures that your dentures will allow you to retain much of your function, which is important for maintaining natural muscle tone in your face and jaw. Dentures will keep you looking and feeling healthy, and will help you retain a natural lifestyle. A lifelike smile and the best possible fit - those are two of Riverstone Dental’s primary goals if you need dentures to restore your smile.
Partial dentures are used if you have several teeth missing that cannot be corrected with a bridge. A partial denture is created to replace those teeth. The partial denture is removable and designed to fit comfortably and blend in with any remaining teeth. This type of denture is made from a synthetic material that is supported with a lightweight metal. It mimics your gum tissue and teeth to create a natural looking smile while still remaining functional. The partial is important once the teeth have been removed to preserve the bone and to keep existing teeth from tilting and growing in towards the gaps.
You can erase years of wear and tear with porcelain crowns. Sometimes called “caps,” crowns are customized for you, covering broken, cracked or discolored teeth. Crowns are a durable, strong, long lasting method of enhancing both the look and functionality of your smile. After some preparation of the tooth or teeth that will receive the crown, Dr. Taylor and Dr. Sigler will position a custom made, lifelike crown over your damaged tooth, restoring and rejuvenating your oral health. Many of our patients prefer porcelain crowns for a more natural look. You and the Riverstone Dental team can decide whether porcelain or a mixture of porcelain and metal will work best for you.
If you’ve lost a tooth, a large gap in your smile can create significant problems for your dental health if left uncorrected. Gradually, your bite pressure may shift to other parts of your mouth to compensate for an inability to chew efficiently in the area of the missing tooth. Neighboring teeth may begin to move into the gap resulting in discomfort, pain and more problems in the future. After some preparation of the two neighboring teeth, crowns are created for them. A prosthetic tooth, or pontic, is fused between the crowns. Fixed bridges literally “bridge the gap” in your smile. Dr. Sigler and Dr. Taylor create a functional, life-like bridge to correct your smile, restore your bite and alleviate your discomfort.