Dental implants are an excellent option to replace one or more missing teeth. Many patients prefer the realistic look, simple ongoing care, and long-lasting results. Find out more about dental implants and the various types available.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are small, screwlike titanium posts surgically implanted into the jawbone. An abutment connects the post to the replacement tooth. The prosthetic tooth, also called a crown, is custom-made for fit and color that blends in and matches your other teeth.
Many patients choose dental implants because they have a high success rate. They offer an alternative solution to dentures and bridgework that are often uncomfortable or a poor fit due to the integrity of the tissues that serve as a foundation.
How Does the Dental Implant Process Work?
Before your surgery, Dr. Brown must conduct a thorough examination to discuss your medical history and inspect the health of your jawbone and oral tissues. You may need to have X-rays and images taken. If you are a good candidate for dental implants, Dr. Brown then tailors a treatment plan for your needs.
Dental implant surgery is typically an outpatient procedure and involves several stages. During the procedure itself, you may have general anesthesia or sedation. Follow all instructions given to you by ourl team to prepare, such as what to eat and drink. The process consists of:
- Removing damaged teeth
- Preparing the jawbone with bone grafts if necessary
- Placing the dental implant into the jawbone (the abutment may or may not be placed at this time)
Once the implant or implants are in place, you must allow time for them to heal. It can take several months for the bone to grow around the implant. The usual duration is between four and six months. When Dr. Brown determines that you have healed enough, you are ready to have the post uncovered to put the abutment in place if it hasn’t been already. It takes a few weeks to heal from this part of the procedure before the artificial tooth is placed on the implant post. Our team takes impressions of your gum tissue throughout this process to have your crowns made to fit.
Listen carefully to all aftercare instructions given by Dr. Brown. It’s normal to experience some swelling, bruising, discomfort, or bleeding. Take any prescriptions you are given and follow oral care guidelines. Attend your follow-up appointments to make sure the procedure was successful and requires no further treatment.
Are You a Candidate for Dental Implants?
Ask Dr. Brown if you are a good candidate for dental implants. In general, implants are suitable for patients who meet the following criteria:
- Missing one or more teeth
- Fully grown jawbone with healthy bone tissue
- Good overall oral health
- Unable to wear, or prefer not to wear dentures
- No underlying conditions that could interfere with your ability to heal
- Understand the entire process takes several months
There are a few risks associated with dental implant surgery. While rare, the most common are:
- Damage to oral tissues
- Implant movement
- Opening of the incision
- Sinus problems
Dr. Brown counsels every patient to outline the possible risks and complications so they know what to expect and how to have the best possible outcome.
Benefits of Dental Implants for Replacing Missing Teeth
There are quite a few benefits of choosing implants over other tooth replacements. These are some of the most compelling reasons to choose dental implants:
- Natural look that blends in with your other teeth
- Greater confidence
- Implants are permanent and won’t slip out of place
- No dietary restrictions
- Fast results with some procedures
- Fully customizable for every patient
- No rubbing for greater comfort
- Helps prevent bone loss
- Stabilizes adjacent teeth
- Lasts for decades or even a lifetime with proper care
Once placed and fully healed, dental implants require the same maintenance as natural teeth. You must brush and floss daily. Also, continue to schedule regular appointments with Dr. Brown to get routine cleanings and oral health screenings.
Types of Dental Implants
There is a range of styles and types of dental implants that allow for customization, so each patient gets the best possible outcome. You can discuss your preferences and wishes with Dr. Brown, and together choose the option that is right for your needs and goals.
All On 4
All On 4 is a fast and minimally invasive way to correct your tooth loss. You can get a full set of permanent teeth that function entirely like natural teeth in only 24 to 48 hours. Instead of many dental implants to support dentures, All On 4 requires just four implants as the foundational support for an entire set of teeth. The fewer number of implants makes them more affordable than some other options. This option also practically eliminates the need for any bone grafts to prepare the jawbone for the procedure. You’ll regain 98% of your previous chewing power and better command over your speech.
Your custom-made restoration is placed on top of the four implants. Every restoration is designed to fit your mouth structure and match your desired tooth shade. You can enjoy food without dietary restrictions with this permanent tooth loss procedure. This method is recommended for patients who have lost all of their teeth, and those who can’t, or don’t want, to wear dentures.
Implant Supported Dentures
This alternative to traditional dentures looks completely natural and is suitable for one or more missing teeth. Implant supported dentures are also a great choice for patients who lack the healthy tissue structure to support traditional dentures.
Implant supported dentures are removable dentures that attach to dental implants. They are very secure, sturdy, and a viable long-term solution for any patient that is a good candidate for implants. The benefits of implant supported dentures include the following:
- Fixed securely in place to allow for natural speech and function
- Secure foundation prevents slipping
- No dietary restrictions
- Offers greater comfort than traditional dentures
- Lasts many years, and even a lifetime if you care for them as directed
- No messy adhesives
- Helps preserve the jawbone
- Customized for fit and tooth color
- Removable when needed
- Requires the same oral care as natural teeth
In some cases, a bone graft is required to build up the jawbone before the implants are placed. As with all implants, you must wait for the posts to fuse with the jawbone and the entire site to heal before your dentures are placed and wearable. Temporary caps are available while you wait.
Teeth In a Day
Another type of dental implant procedure is called Teeth In a Day. With this method, you get a complete restoration to replace your teeth in just one day. This process typically requires between four and six implants in the upper jaw and four in the lower jaw. A bridge is then placed on these implants. You can choose between a fixed or removable restoration.
Teeth In a Day is so fast between it uses a 3D scanner to take the images required to get the right fit. Choosing this method has the following benefits:
- Saves time
- Return to normal eating and chewing habits quickly
- Better comfort and jaw strength
- Greater confidence with the fast results
While the procedure itself only takes a single day, you still need to see Dr. Brown for follow-up care. Expect it to take several months for your new implants to heal completely.
Mini Dental Implants
Mini dental implants, also called MDI, are a newer dental technology that places implants in only an hour, giving you a fully restored smile in no time. The procedure is done under sedation or with local anesthesia.
Miniature titanium posts are implanted into the jawbone. Then, a socket-shaped connector is placed over the ball-shape of the implant post. The result is strong and secure. Mini dental implants are a fast and affordable option for anyone ill-suited to dentures, or those who prefer to avoid the mess and discomfort. The smaller implants are also great for patients that lack the bone tissue needed to support full-sized implants.
The Laser Assisted Peri-Implantitis Procedure, or LAPIP Protocol, is an advanced procedure used to save failing implants. Dental implants are normally highly successful and last for years, but situations can arise where problems develop. Inflamed tissues and ongoing bleeding and pain are cause for concern and require a visit to Dr. Brown for evaluation. An ignored infection can develop into a more serious problem of peri-implantitis, which includes bone loss and eventual implant failure. The cause of peri-implant disease can stem from improper placement of the implants or poor care after the procedure.
LAPIP is a non-invasive treatment derived from LANAP laser treatment of periodontal disease. Before LAPIP, the standard methods to treat peri-implantitis were either to cut open the gums and graft bone and oral tissues, or remove the implant and replace it. Dr. Brown is the first periodontist to offer LAPIP treatment in Philadelphia. He prefers this procedure because it preserves the stability of the implant while targeting the bacteria that is the true cause of the peri-implantitis. The other methods don’t address the presence of bacteria, meaning that they are not as effective.
Patients who choose LAPIP get relief from painful inflammation in a single appointment. The non-invasive procedure has a shorter recovery time and long-lasting results. It also reinforces implant stability and encourages tissue regeneration. After taking X-rays and doing an exam, Dr. Brown uses the PerioLase® MVP-7 laser to remove bacteria so the implant can heal.
Cost of Dental Implants
The cost of dental implants is a common concern for patients. It’s difficult to name an average price since the cost varies for every patient. Pricing is based upon the following considerations:
- The number of implants you require
- The type of implants
- Location within the jaw
- Inclusion of additional procedures before implant surgery
Dental implants can indeed cost a lot upfront. However, they can last for a lifetime if you take care of them. When you consider the longevity of this treatment, the overall cost is worthwhile. You could end up paying more for several other types of procedures and replacement dentures instead of opting for a single procedure. Other common solutions like bridges, caps, and crowns only last for five to seven years. Each time you undergo a replacement, you lose gum tissue and increase your likelihood of needing a root canal or other treatment that adds to the cost of oral care. Looking at it from this point of view, dental implants are actually very affordable.
You can get an estimate of the cost for your specific situation after undergoing an exam and consultation. During this appointment, Dr. Brown evaluates your current oral health, discusses your needs, and outlines the various options to correct the issue. Together you can decide on the best course of action for you based on the advantages of each procedure. The cost is well worth the benefits, especially considering that implants last for decades when cared for properly. Read through some testimonials from satisfied patients of The Perio Group to learn about the positive experience and outcomes others have had with dental implants.
Why Choose Dr. Brown
The provider you select to do your dental work can make a big difference in the outcome you get. Periodontists like Dr. Brown have extensive training and knowledge of implants. Our team at The Perio Group understands how to place implants correctly and what additional treatments and aftercare are best to ensure successful results. Dr. Brown has years of experience placing implants for hundreds of patients. Our office uses the latest technology and procedures to ensure your comfort and get you the results you want and deserve.
Are you curious about dental implants and want to learn more? We are happy to answer your questions about the implant process and our qualifications. Contact The Perio Group today to make your appointment and find out if dental implants are right for you.