Implant Dentistry is the most state-of-the art and effective option for permanently replacing missing or severely damaged teeth. Implants are a superior alternative to dentures and partial dentures. Implants will not slip, make noise, or cause bone damage the way fixed bridgework or dentures might. And the materials cannot decay like your own teeth supporting dentures or bridgework can. Modern implants have been used successfully for over 30 years and are the strongest devices available to support replacement teeth. Implants allow these new teeth to feel, look and function naturally.
Dental implants have several advantages over dentures and bridges.
- feel, fit and function like natural healthy teeth
- restore normal eating, smiling and speaking
- will not shift or slide in the mouth
- allow you to chew or bite into any foods
- do not rely on surrounding teeth for support
- keep underlying bone strong and healthy
- help retain the natural shape of your face
- are customized to you and you alone
Dental implants are the only dental restoration option that preserves natural bone, helping to stimulate bone growth. In 1952, Swedish orthopedic surgeon P.I. Branemark discovered that titanium naturally fuses with bone which encouraged him to switch his research focus from the knees and hips to the mouth.
Dental implants work as artificial tooth roots and are similar in shape to screws. Implant posts come in different sized and heights to accommodate different needs and can be connected to different types of tooth replacements. Placing dental implants takes place in three steps.
First, while you are under anesthesia, an oral surgeon places the titanium dental implant in your jawbone beneath the gap of the missing tooth. A healing cap is placed over the implant and the implant fuses over a period of months with your natural bone, allowing the bone to heal tightly around the implant. The implant becomes a sturdy base for supporting one or more artificial teeth, called crowns.
Once the implant and the jawbone grow together, the connector (called an abutment) is placed on top of the dental implant to hold and support your crown.
Finally, the crown is then custom-made to match your natural teeth and fit your mouth.
When multiple teeth need to be replaced, implant posts can support a bridge or partial dentures as well. This is called an implant hybrid. Implant hybrids are an excellent option for patients missing many or all teeth. Hybrids are an innovative solution for replacing rows of teeth and are superior to traditional dentures. But unlike traditional dentures, hybrid implant dentures are fixed into your mouth using a set of four dental implants – titanium posts that fuse with your jawbone. The dental implants support a titanium or gold bar that anchors a set of acrylic teeth in place. The bar is permanently fixed in one place, which means your dentures will not shift or move around, allowing your teeth to feel, look and function like natural healthy teeth.
Dr. Powell has made dental implant technology and education a top priority throughout his career, and recently completed an advanced mini-residency in surgical dental implant placement and restoration at the Georgia Health Sciences University in Augusta, Georgia. Make an appointment for a thorough consultation with Dr. Powell to find out if implants are the right option for you.