Dental Implants

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are prosthetic tooth roots that are surgically placed into the jawbone to support a replacement tooth or a dental bridge. They provide a strong foundation for a variety of dental restorations, such as crowns, bridges, or dentures. Dental implants are considered a long-term solution for tooth loss and offer several benefits over traditional tooth replacement options.

Here are some key aspects of dental implants:

  1. Implant Structure: Dental implants typically consist of three components: a. Implant Fixture: This is the titanium post that is surgically inserted into the jawbone. It serves as an artificial tooth root and provides stability and support for the restoration. b. Abutment: The abutment connects the implant fixture to the replacement tooth or dental restoration. It acts as a connector, ensuring a secure attachment between the implant and the restoration. c. Dental Restoration: The restoration, such as a crown, bridge, or denture, is attached to the abutment. It is custom-made to match the color, shape, and size of the natural teeth for a seamless and natural-looking appearance.
  2. Procedure: The process of getting dental implants typically involves several stages: a. Evaluation and Treatment Planning: A thorough examination is conducted, including dental X-rays, scans, and impressions, to evaluate the oral health and determine the suitability for dental implants. A personalized treatment plan is then created. b. Implant Placement: During the surgical procedure, the dental implant fixture is placed into the jawbone. The area is then allowed to heal, allowing the implant to integrate with the surrounding bone through a process called osseointegration. c. Abutment Placement: After the healing period, a minor surgical procedure is performed to expose the implant and attach the abutment. d. Restoration Placement: Once the gum tissue has healed around the abutment, the final dental restoration, such as a crown, bridge, or denture, is attached to the implant.
  3. Benefits of Dental Implants:
    • Improved Functionality: Dental implants restore the ability to bite, chew, and speak properly, providing stability and strength comparable to natural teeth.
    • Aesthetics: Dental implants offer a natural and lifelike appearance, enhancing the smile and facial aesthetics.
    • Longevity: With proper care and maintenance, dental implants can last for many years, and in some cases, a lifetime.
    • Preservation of Bone and Facial Structure: Dental implants stimulate the jawbone, preventing bone loss that typically occurs with tooth loss. This helps maintain facial structure and prevents the sunken-in appearance that can happen with missing teeth.
    • Comfort and Convenience: Dental implants eliminate the need for removable dentures or bridges, providing a permanent and comfortable solution.
  4. Candidacy: Dental implants are suitable for many individuals, but certain factors are considered to determine candidacy. Adequate bone quantity and quality in the jaw are essential for successful implant placement. In some cases, bone grafting or other preparatory procedures may be required to ensure implant success.
  5. Maintenance: Dental implants require regular oral hygiene practices, including brushing, flossing, and routine dental check-ups. Professional cleanings and examinations are crucial to monitor the health of the implants and surrounding tissues.

It's important to consult with a qualified dental professional to determine if dental implants are the right option for you. They can assess your oral health, discuss the benefits and considerations, and create a personalized treatment plan to restore your smile and improve your overall oral well-being.

dental implants in Peoria

Types of Dental Implants

There are several types of dental implants available, each designed to address specific tooth replacement needs. The choice of implant type depends on factors such as the location of the missing tooth, the amount of available bone, and individual patient preferences. Here are some common types of dental implants:

  1. Endosteal Implants: Endosteal implants are the most commonly used type of dental implant. They are typically shaped like small screws and are made of biocompatible materials, such as titanium. These implants are surgically placed into the jawbone, and after a healing period, they provide a sturdy foundation for attaching the dental restoration.
  2. Subperiosteal Implants: Subperiosteal implants are an alternative to endosteal implants when there is insufficient bone volume for their placement. Instead of being inserted into the jawbone, subperiosteal implants are placed on or above the jawbone, beneath the gum tissue. They consist of a metal framework with posts that protrude through the gums to support the dental prosthesis.
  3. All-on-4 Implants: The All-on-4 dental implant concept is designed to restore a full arch of missing teeth with just four strategically placed implants per arch. This technique utilizes specific implant angulations to maximize the available bone and support a full fixed bridge or denture. All-on-4 implants offer a more efficient and cost-effective solution for edentulous (fully toothless) patients.
  4. Mini Implants: Mini implants are smaller in diameter compared to traditional implants. They are suitable for patients with reduced bone density or those requiring less extensive restoration. Mini implants are often used to stabilize lower dentures or support single-tooth replacements in narrow spaces.
  5. Zygomatic Implants: Zygomatic implants are used in cases where there is severe bone loss in the upper jaw, and traditional implants cannot be placed due to inadequate bone volume. Instead of being anchored in the jawbone, zygomatic implants are inserted into the zygomatic bone (cheekbone) to provide stability for dental restorations.
  6. Immediate Load Implants: Immediate load implants, also known as same-day implants or teeth-in-a-day, allow for the placement of a temporary dental restoration on the same day as the implant surgery. This technique is suitable for select cases where implant stability and bone quality allow for immediate functional loading.
  7. Implant-Supported Dentures: Implant-supported dentures are used when multiple missing teeth or an entire arch of teeth need to be replaced. Dental implants are strategically placed in the jawbone to support a denture, providing improved stability, comfort, and chewing function compared to traditional removable dentures.

It's important to note that the suitability of each implant type depends on the individual's specific dental condition and the recommendation of the dentist or oral surgeon. A thorough examination and consultation with a dental professional will help determine the most appropriate type of dental implant to meet your unique needs and achieve optimal results.


Risks and Benefits of Dental Implants

Dental implants offer several benefits as a tooth replacement option, but like any medical procedure, they also carry certain risks. Here are the benefits and risks associated with dental implants:

Benefits of Dental Implants:

  1. Improved Functionality: Dental implants restore the full functionality of missing teeth. They provide a stable and durable foundation for chewing, biting, and speaking, allowing individuals to eat a wide range of foods comfortably.
  2. Aesthetics: Dental implants closely mimic the appearance of natural teeth. The restorations, such as crowns or bridges, are custom-made to match the color, shape, and size of surrounding teeth, resulting in a natural-looking smile.
  3. Longevity: Dental implants are designed to be a long-term solution for tooth loss. With proper care and maintenance, they can last for many years and, in some cases, a lifetime.
  4. Bone Preservation: When a tooth is lost, the jawbone in that area can begin to deteriorate over time. Dental implants help preserve the bone by providing stimulation similar to natural tooth roots. This helps maintain the strength and structure of the jawbone and prevents the sunken-in appearance that can occur with tooth loss.
  5. Improved Oral Health: Dental implants do not require the alteration or support of neighboring teeth, as is necessary with dental bridges. This means that adjacent teeth are left untouched, promoting better oral health in the long run.
  6. Confidence and Self-Esteem: Dental implants can have a significant positive impact on self-confidence and self-esteem. They restore a complete smile and allow individuals to feel more comfortable and confident in social interactions.

Risks of Dental Implants:

  1. Surgical Risks: The surgical placement of dental implants carries the typical risks associated with any surgical procedure, such as infection, bleeding, and damage to surrounding structures. However, these risks are relatively low, and complications are rare when performed by a skilled and experienced dental professional.
  2. Osseointegration Issues: Osseointegration is the process in which the dental implant fuses with the surrounding jawbone. In some cases, osseointegration may not occur as expected, resulting in implant failure. Factors that can affect osseointegration include poor bone quality, smoking, certain medical conditions, and inadequate healing.
  3. Nerve and Tissue Damage: During the implant placement process, there is a slight risk of nerve damage, which can lead to numbness or tingling in the lips, gums, or chin. However, with proper planning and careful placement, the risk of nerve damage is minimal.
  4. Infection and Complications: Like any dental procedure, there is a risk of infection following dental implant surgery. Proper oral hygiene practices and regular dental check-ups are essential to minimize the risk of infection. In rare cases, complications such as implant rejection, peri-implantitis (inflammation around the implant), or implant fracture may occur.
  5. Cost: Dental implants can be a significant investment compared to other tooth replacement options. The cost includes the surgical procedure, implant components, and the final restoration. However, many individuals consider the long-term benefits and improved quality of life to outweigh the initial cost.

It's important to consult with a qualified dental professional to discuss the specific benefits and risks of dental implants based on your individual circumstances. They can evaluate your oral health, conduct a comprehensive examination, and provide personalized advice to help you make an informed decision about tooth replacement options.

Who Can Perform Dental Implants?

It is a must that you visit a specialist in this area, like a prosthodontist. A general dentist may also perform this procedure but he/she must have advanced training in this field. During the initial consultation, your dentist will perform a thorough examination, take x-rays and create impressions of your gums and your teeth.

A CT scan of your mouth may be requested to ensure if your jawbone can fully support the implants. The scan will also help your dentist avoid those nerves and sinuses during the surgery. Dental implants can restore your beautiful smile. Make a consultation today to determine whether or not you are a good candidate for this procedure.