A dental implant is a replacement tooth root made of titanium or zirconia. Shaped like a small screw, a dental implant mimics the function of your natural tooth root to provide a stable foundation for your replacement teeth. Dr. Wilhelm surgically inserts dental implants into your jawbone, where they ultimately bond with the bone through a process called osseointegration.
Dental implants look and feel just like your natural teeth. Along with enhancing your appearance, other popular benefits of dental implants include:
Implants hold your replacement teeth securely in place to prevent the shifting that often accompanies dentures. You can eat and speak as you normally do without any special care.
While removable dentures require a special solution for cleaning, you can brush and floss dental implants just like your natural teeth.
Dental implants come in a variety of options. From mini implants and single implants to full-mouth implants and All-on-4® implants, these restorations can treat as few or as many teeth as you need.
Like muscle, bone deteriorates when it has no stimulation. Once your natural tooth root dissolves, the supporting bone undergoes a resorption process that threatens your oral health and can make your face appear sunken. Dental implants replace your natural tooth roots and stimulate the underlying bone to prevent resorption.
The first step in the dental implant process is to ensure you have enough bone in your jaw to support implants. Dr. Wilhelm uses cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) scans to plan your treatment. If you don’t have enough tooth-supporting bone, then he may recommend a bone graft.
During dental implant surgery, Dr. Wilhelm administers anesthesia before making an incision in your gums. He then removes any necessary bone or tissue to place the implant. Finally, he closes the incision and packs your mouth with gauze to prevent infection.
The recovery process takes about 6-12 weeks, during which time your bone and tissue heal around the implant to hold it in place. Once your tissues fully heal, Dr. Wilhelm takes digital impressions to create your replacement teeth — crowns, complete dentures, partial dentures, or a dental bridge. He connects your teeth to your dental implants at your final visit.
All-on-4 implants are an effective alternative to a full-mouth restoration. The treatment requires only four well-placed implants in your top arch and four on the bottom to completely restore your smile and tooth function. Once placed, these implants connect to dentures. All-on-4 implants provide similar stability as traditional implants, but are more affordable.
To learn more about dental implants, call Newport Dental Arts or schedule an appointment online today.