Every single tooth actually has two main parts: the root and the crown, but most dental restorations only serve to replace the crown of a missing tooth. Dental implants go a step further and bring back the root as well, providing the most reliable, durable, and natural-looking tooth replacement available today. Whether you are missing a single tooth, all of your teeth, or somewhere in between, dental implants can help you reclaim your smile, and you can get them right here our Oak Hills, San Antonio dental practice. To learn more about them or schedule an appointment, contact us today.
As we touched on above, a dental implant is actually a prosthetic tooth root, and once one has been placed into your jaw, we can attach it to any number of replacement teeth to create your new smile.
In the case of a single missing tooth, we’ll use what is called an implant-retained crown. For this, a custom-made, all-porcelain crown will be attached directly to an implant using a metal connector called an abutment. It will be color-matched to the rest of a patient’s teeth, and because it will have the same structure as any natural tooth, it will blend in seamlessly.
And, if a patient is missing a few consecutive teeth, implant crowns can also be used to support a bridge to replace them. Two crowns will be placed on either side of the space in a patient’s smile, and these will be attached to additional prosthetic teeth to close it.
If you have a denture, it’s just a given that it is going to slip and slide around in your mouth, right? Thanks to implant-retained dentures, that no longer needs to be the case! They work by having a denture snap onto multiple implants placed into a patient’s mouth, anchoring them directly to the jawbone just like natural teeth. Compared to a traditional removable denture, they have numerous advantages:
This procedure enables a patient to have an entire row of missing teeth restored with a strong implant-retained denture in just one day. In a single well-planned appointment, four implants will be placed into the mouth, and a denture will be attached to them immediately. The key to this treatment is how the implants themselves are positioned to provide maximum security for the new teeth. This treatment is even viable for patients who have not been good candidates for dental implants in the past because of a thin or brittle jawbone.
Are you thinking about getting dental implants to restore your smile? You may have already heard that they’re the next best thing to natural teeth, but chances are you still have some questions about the procedure. At D. Michael Miller, DDS, we want you to have all the information you need, so we’ve answered some frequently asked questions about dental implants below. But feel free to get in touch anytime with additional questions!
Dental implants are a great choice for most people, but since each patient is different, the best way to know if you’re a good candidate is to schedule a visit. Dr. Miller will do a thorough exam to make sure implants are right for you before making a recommendation.
Generally speaking, he’ll be looking for reasonably good overall health, strong jawbones, and a commitment to good oral hygiene. With that said, even patients with a thin or weak jawbone can usually get implants after having a bone graft (a procedure that strengthens and fortifies their jaw).
Yes! They’re made from bio-compatible, surgical-grade titanium, which is also used in knee and hip replacements, and have been used in countless people over the years. In fact, now an estimated 5 million implants are safely placed each year.
Many people are surprised to learn that there aren’t any nerve endings in the jawbone, which means it doesn’t register pain. So while it may sound like getting implants would hurt, the most discomfort patients report is mild to moderate gum tenderness during the recovery period (similar to what you would expect after an extraction).
In addition, our team at D. Michael Miller, DDS always makes sure you’re completely numb and comfortable before the procedure starts. We’ll also discuss medication and after-care tips to make the recovery process as easy as possible. In most cases, over the counter pain medication is all that’s necessary.
You can certainly wait to get dental implants if you wish, but it’s important to know you’ll begin to lose jawbone density in the area. Eventually, your jaw may be too thin or weak to support an implant, in which case you might need a bone graft beforehand to strengthen it.
Dental implant failure does happen, but it’s fairly rare. In fact, implants can last 30 years or more with proper care and have a long-term success rate of over 95%!
Common factors that contribute to failure are tobacco use, poor oral hygiene, gum disease, and clenching and grinding. By getting regular checkups with us, not smoking, wearing a nightguard if necessary, and keeping your implant clean, you’ll have an even higher chance of enjoying it for a lifetime.