If you are missing one or more teeth, dental implants may be able to help you. Dental Implants are a more convenient way to replace missing teeth than bridges or dentures because they look and act like normal teeth. The difference is how they are inserted into your mouth.
Dental Implants for Missing Teeth
Dental implants are an alternative way to replace missing teeth. Basic dental implants consist of a post and a crown. The post is the implant part of the prosthetic tooth, and it is inserted into the jaw where it fuses with the bone and gum tissue. The tooth part of the dental implant is called the crown. Many people choose implants over dentures and bridges because they look, act and feel just like your natural teeth once the jaw bone and gum have healed, and they can be used to replace a single tooth or multiple teeth, including all the teeth.
Types of Dental Implants
There are two types of dental implants, including endosteal and subperiosteal. Endosteal implants are the type that most people see advertised online and on TV. These implants involve inserting a post into the jaw bone and capping them with a crown.
The second type of implant, subperiosteal implants, involves inserting a surgical grade metal frame under the gums and on top of the jaw bone. This type of implant is good for people with several missing teeth next to each other. Once the gums heal, the frame remains securely in place. Then, the crowns are put on top of the posts.
Determining Good Candidates for Dental Implants
In order to receive dental implants, our dentist in Jacksonville, FL will need to inspect your mouth, jawbone and gums. Your jaw must be dense enough to be able to hold the implant. Your gums must be healthy in order to ensure they will heal properly around the implant. In some instances, it may be possible to reinforce the jawbone with bone grafts, but that is determined on a case-by-case basis.
How Dental Implants Are Inserted into the Mouth
Dental implants typically require multiple visits to our dentist in Jacksonville, FL. This is because the process involves three steps in order to insert the implants into the mouth.
1. Inserting the Dental Implants
The first step is inserting the mental implants into or over the jaw, depending on the type of implant you are receiving. Since the implant posts are inserted into the jaw or the wire frame is inserted under the gum tissue, this is considered an oral surgery. Once the implants are in place, our dentist may opt to give you temporary crowns, especially in the implants are inserted to replace missing front teeth. If you need bone grafts or other treatments to help ensure your jaw bone and gums are healthy, those treatments are performed prior to inserting the implants.
2. Your Jaw and Gums Need to Heal
After your oral surgery, your jaw and gums will need several weeks to heal. During this time, the implant posts will fuse to the jaw bone and the gums will heal. If you are getting a metal frame, only your gums must heal in most cases.
3. Adding the Missing Teeth
Once your jaw and gums have healed and the implants are determined to be securely in place, our dentist will put the crowns or artificial teeth on the posts. Once the teeth are in place, your gums may need to heal again, and a follow-up visit will be scheduled in one to two weeks.
Dental Implant Aftercare in Jacksonville, FL
For each stage of the dental implant process, you will need to avoid sucking on straws. You may also have to limit your diet to soft foods in order to not aggravate the healing gum tissue. If you smoke or drink alcohol, you’ll want to avoid those habits as they may interfere with the healing process. Our dentist in Jacksonville will answer all of your questions and provide you with aftercare instructions.
For more information on dental implants and their benefits and to schedule a consultation, call us at 904-731-0777.