Missing teeth can make you feel self-conscious. They can allow your other teeth to move out of alignment, and make it more diﬃcult for you to eat and speak eﬀectively. Dental implants may be the answer to your problems. Dr. Bob Johnson, our dentist in Grand Junction, Colorado, will be happy to meet with you to help you decide if dental implants are the right choice for you. Call 970-245-3633 today!
What Is a Dental Implant?
Depending on the situation, your doctor may recommend an implant as an option for tooth replacement. An implant is a medical grade screw body that is placed or implanted into the bone during a precise surgical procedure. It is important to note that implants are now being made out of several types of materials besides commercially pure titanium, including alloys of other metals, zirconia and ceramics. The different types of materials and alloys available have their benefits and shortcomings. Your doctor will go over what’s available and best for you specifically. I have included a helpful diagram at the bottom for some talking points.
Are There Different Shapes, Sizes, Connections of Implants?
You can imagine that one implant isn’t going to fulfill all the needs of why dentists are placing them. Implants come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and connections. They also come in economy, mid-level and premium brands. The choice of an implant comes down to familiarity with the system and its components and the availability to do certain procedures with it. At Horizon Dental Care we choose to place premium brand implants with time-tested materials for long term success. Check out Nobel Active Implant and Nobel Pearl Ceramic Implant
What Are They Placed For?
Implants can be placed for several indications, see the diagram below for reasons why you may need implants.
Most often a dental implant is placed for a single tooth replacement. This has three parts and is relatively simple to understand. There is the implant screw, a connector called an abutment, and a new tooth or crown. See the animation below to help visualize this. They look and feel like real teeth, and patients often forget which of their teeth is the implant.
Dentures & Partials:
You may choose to have implants placed to hold in or retain your removable teeth. This makes your removable more stable and useful. These teeth literally snap in and out and make your appliance so much better. There are several types of implants and connections available for this. These include such things as O-rings, nylons, and clips and bars. Your doctor should explain which would be most useful for your situation during your consultation. Often, you can chew and eat a wider variety of foods while not needing to worry about your denture coming loose or falling out.
Hybrids and non-removables:
You may choose to have several implants placed to replace several teeth, or have all the top or bottom teeth replaced. This can be beneficial if you don’t want to have teeth that are removable. These types of appliances go by many names, such as Hybrid or Hybridge or some other trademarked names. It depends on the substructure, implant components chosen and the completed materials of the final prosthesis. The dental term is actually ISCP or Implant Supported Complete Prosthesis. This means that the entire appliance, top or bottom, is screwed into and supported on implants. There is a lot of detail that goes into these sorts of prostheses, and they can cost a little or a lot depending on chosen requirements. Your doctor should be able to explain the differences to you.What Are Mini-Implants and are they right for me?
Mini-implants are no different than what we call traditional implants, except that they are so skinny or narrow they are just one piece This means the connectors or abutments can never be changed out. The Academy of Osseointegration calls mini-implants, NDI’s or narrow diameter implants. To be quantified as a narrow diameter implant, the diameter has to be smaller than 2.2mm. You should look at that on a ruler.
The biggest issues we see with mini-implants include fracture of the implant or wearing out of the connection. This can be avoided if they are used for the correct purpose and placed ideally. Unfortunately, some choose to place them for cost savings in areas that could end up costing you more money in the long run. Your Doctor should be able to explain if mini implants are right for you or if there is a better option available.
Are Dental Implants the Best Solution or a Cure-All?
I enjoy placing, restoring and rebuilding smiles with implants but want to avoid an implant failure or complication at all costs. There are definitely times when implants are not a good solution for a patient’s needs or removal of an existing implant is needed. I do my best to help my patients make decisions based on education with the goal being long-term health and happiness. Your doctor should let you know if you are a good candidate for an implant and what type is best. I would be happy to meet with you for a consultation to help you decide if dental implants are the right choice for you. To make an appointment at Horizon Dental Care, call 970-245-3633 today
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