Dental implants have become the gold standard in tooth replacement. That's for a number of reasons. One is that they're so versatile in that they can replace single teeth or multiple teeth. You can even use them to replace an entire arch of teeth or secure your dentures. Another reason is how highly successful they are.
They've been in use for over 30 years now in dentistry, and they have a wonderful, predictable treatment path that is shockingly easy on the patient.
We understand it sounds much scarier than it is. We're talking about replacing a tooth with a dental implant, which is a titanium screw that replaces the tooth root in your jaw. People say that that sounds terrifying, but I guarantee you it's going to be a much easier experience than you think. Bone has very little feeling and it makes for a very shockingly easy experience where oftentimes we can do the entire replacement of the implant with fewer and more comfortable shots than it takes to even do a small filling.
So don't let the fear prevent you from coming in and talking with us and finding out what it really is all about; how easy it is and how versatile it is. If you're missing teeth, you can almost certainly have some major benefit from dental implants. Another reason is that because we can replace a single tooth or multiple teeth, we don't need the teeth surrounding the missing spaces to be involved in it. Traditionally we had to do things like grind down the teeth on either side so that a bridge would fit over those teeth and replace the tooth in the middle that's missing.
If you don't need a crown on those two teeth, that's just done a huge detriment to them for no reason other than to replace the tooth in the middle. If we're going to replace it with an implant, those teeth go unharmed and can last you for as long as they should. With a bridge on there, it's very difficult to clean. It sets those teeth up for problems down the road such as root canals, fractures, and is difficult to protect those areas that cause cavities. Partial dentures are similar in that they really abuse the teeth that support the partial denture and almost certainly set those teeth up for future problems.
Another thing is that, like all things in life, dentistry is subject to wear and tear. We use our mouths constantly every day and so, nothing lasts forever. But implants are about as close as we've gotten in dentistry. If you take care of it, we don't give an expiration date on how long an implant is going to last because truly, they may last you a lifetime. So it really has become the dentistry of the future. It has so many indications. So come in and let's chat about it. Even if you know you need to have a tooth taken out or you've been missing teeth for years, come in. Let's chat. Let's figure out if something can be done to help you improve the quality of your life, your chewing capability, and restore comfort and smile that you deserve.
A dental implant is versatile and can replace single teeth, multiple teeth, an arch of teeth, or secure dentures. The dental implant process involves a simple treatment plan and an easy patient experience, sometimes even requiring less numbing than needed for a filling. Partial dentures can abuse surrounding teeth, whereas dental implants do not require other teeth to properly restore a missing or lost tooth. Dental implants improve chewing capability, restore comfort, and enhance the smile.
What are dental implants?
A dental implant (or tooth implant) replaces a missing/lost tooth. At Atlanta Dental Spa, dental implants consist of 3 parts: a titanium screw that replaces the root of the tooth, a porcelain crown that replaces the missing tooth, and a piece in the middle (called an abutment) that connects the screw and the crown.
If you lose a tooth or are missing a tooth resulting in a gap between your teeth, your remaining teeth, jaw, and bite will become unstable. Dental implants replace missing teeth (fill in the gap) and restore stability to your mouth/teeth.
Who is a candidate for dental implants?
Dental implants are an ideal treatment option for most healthy people. In most cases, dental implants are a better option than a porcelain bridge. Exceptions to this rule are patients who are long-term heavy smokers, uncontrolled diabetics, and patients who have undergone bisphosphonate treatment. To find out if you are a candidate for dental implants, schedule a consultation visit to discuss all of your options for restoring your teeth.
What are the advantages to dental implants?
There are several advantages to choosing dental implant treatment. First, the tooth implant replaces the whole missing tooth (crown and root). Because the root of the tooth is restored, the bone supporting the implant remains healthy and strong. Left without a root or implant, the bone will resorb (atrophy) away leaving a defect in the jaw.
Another advantage of dental implants over a bridge is that the teeth next to the imlpant do not require any work/drilling. When we use a bridge to replace missing teeth, we have to file the teeth on either side of the space. A great advantage of implants is that once they settle in, they rarely fail. You may need to replace your implant abutment or implant crown after a long while, but it is extremely rare to ever need to replace the entire tooth implant system.
From the patient’s perspective, an implant looks and acts just like a normal tooth. You can floss it just like a tooth, and it looks and functions like a natural tooth. Dental implants are one of the most successful procedures available in dentistry today.
What are the disadvantages to dental implants?
One drawback to dental implant treatment is that the process takes a while. From start to finish, the process takes between 4 and 8 months. After the tooth implant is initially placed, it has to have time to settle into the jaw (through a process called osseointegration). After the implant settles in, the implant can be completed in 2 to 3 weeks.
Another possible drawback to dental implant treatment is mastering the aesthetics of the restoration. Trying to match an implant tooth to blend in with the natural teeth can be difficult, and sometimes (for example if you need to replace two adjacent teeth in the smile), a bridge is a better option.
Our Atlanta Dental Spa dentists have years of experience restoring implants, and they have the skill and knowledge to recognize any potential drawbacks BEFORE you start your case. They will be able to help you understand whether or not you are an excellent candidate to receive a tooth implant — and what your aesthetic outcome will be using implants, as well as other restorative options.
A final thing to consider when choosing dental implant treatment, is the fact that placing the implant requires surgery. For most cases the surgery is minor, and you may or may not have to undergo sedation or general anesthesia (put to sleep) in order to have the tooth implant placed. Still this is a consideration that you must weigh when deciding which treatment/restoration is the best one for you.
To learn more about your dental implant options, schedule an appointment to talk to one of our dental surgeons- Dr. Andrew Currie in our Buckhead location.
Here's a video on Dr. Currie speaking about Post-op instructions (Extractions / Implants / General Surgery)
Virtually Placed Dental Implants
At Atlanta Dental Spa we have invested in 3-D technology for placement of dental implants. 3-D x-rays called Cone Beam Technology allows us to get a perfect digital replica of your biologic anatomy. This means that we can "virtually" do the dental surgery before we actually do it. Dental surgery, like placing dental implants, requires the surgeon really 'thread the needle' to give the implant optimum ability for osseointegration and long-term stability. Read more about our CT Scan Technology