Your teeth are an important feature of your mouth. Tooth loss, no matter how many teeth are lost, is a major issue, affecting all of the functions your teeth perform every day. At Madison Oral Surgery & Dental Implants, we are proud to offer dental implants to replace your missing teeth.
Effects of Missing Teeth
Missing teeth, even a single tooth, is a serious oral health issue that can greatly affect your quality of life. When you lose your teeth, several things happen:
|•||Biting and chewing food thoroughly becomes more of a challenge. Chewing is the first stage in the digestive process. Your teeth break down foods so that your intestines can absorb the nutrients. When food is not properly broken down, vital nutrients are missed. This can lead to malnutrition.
|•||Speaking is a challenge. Your teeth control your airflow when you speak, and help you to form certain sounds. Without teeth, your speech is greatly affected, and others may have a more difficult time understanding you.
|•||Your smile is affected.
|•||Your jawbone grows weak. This causes the bone to change shape, and other teeth can begin to shift from their natural positions, altering your bite.|
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are the most recent available option for replacing missing teeth. They consist of small titanium rods that are surgically inserted into your jawbone. Your jawbone then fuses with the implants (osseointegration), turning them into stable supports for your replacement teeth, which are permanently screwed in place on the implants.
Types of Dental Implants
Implants are highly customizable and can replace any number of missing teeth. There are several different types of dental implants, which can be suited to your specific needs:
|•||Single tooth implants, which replace one missing tooth in any given area of your mouth.
|•||Multiple teeth implants (implant supported bridge), which replaces sections of missing teeth, instead of using a fixed bridge or partial denture.
|•||Implant supported denture, which replaces all of the missing teeth in either jaw or both.
|•||All-on-4. This treatment is used when you lack enough jawbone for the 6 to 8 implants needed for regular implant supported dentures. Your replacement teeth are supported by only four implants.|
Implants require a surgical procedure. A local anesthetic is administered, which numbs the surgical sites, so you feel no pain. If necessary, sedation may also be used to help you relax and feel comfortable. Incisions are then made in the gums, exposing the jawbone. Small holes are drilled into the bone. The implants are placed, and your gums closed around them. You are then provided with temporary teeth while you heal.
Healing typically takes between just a few weeks to several months (depending on the number of implants we place). As you heal, we will monitor your progress to ensure that fusion is taking place. Once you have completely healed, we remove your temporary teeth and place the abutments. Impressions of your mouth are taken and sent to a lab, where your permanent teeth are designed, and created. When they are ready, we will screw them into place, and you will leave with your new, fully functional, beautiful smile.
Dental Implant Benefits
Implants have several benefits:
|•||They look completely natural.
|•||They are extremely comfortable (your replacement teeth are supported by the implants, instead of your gums).
|•||They can be cared for just like the rest of your natural teeth.
|•||Implants are permanent.
|•||They function as the roots of your teeth and stimulate your jawbone, helping to preserve the strength of the bone.|
Dental Implant Materials and Titanium
At Madison Oral Surgery & Dental Implants, we offer dental implants for your tooth replacement needs. Dental implants are a modern, revolutionary, alternative to bridges and dentures that provide you with a multitude of benefits. Not only do dental implants restore the functions of your missing teeth and the aesthetics of your smile, but they also offer you more comfort than dentures. They can be brushed and flossed just like your natural teeth. They are also permanent. The posts that support your replacement teeth are implanted directly into the jawbone and stimulate the bone just like the roots of your natural teeth. This stimulation helps to stop, and prevent, bone loss in your jaw, helping it to remain strong and stable. Most dental implants placed are made of titanium, and have been since their development. Today, there are other materials being explored.
Supporting Replacement with Titanium Implants
Titanium dental implants are the original modern-day implants. They have been in use since the discovery of osseointegration, or the process in which bone fuses to the material. This discovery was completely accidental. Back in the 1950s, a Swedish orthopedic surgeon by the name of Per-Ingvar Brånemark was researching bone healing when he implanted a titanium cylinder into a rabbit femur. Later, when he went to remove it, he found that the bone had begun fusing to the titanium. This discovery inspired him to conduct further research, and he eventually developed dental implants.
The first dental implants were successfully placed in 1965, and the material has been in use since. Ever since the initial discovery, further research has been done, and improvements are constantly being made. One of the major improvements made was with the titanium itself. The first implants were made of pure titanium. However, this material proved to be too soft, so the latest implants are made of a titanium alloy. The addition of other metals has greatly improved the strength and stability of the posts. Titanium implants make up 95% of the total number of implants placed, and they have a success rate of 98%.
The Addition of Zirconia Implants
Even though titanium implants are so successful, they are not always the best solution for everyone. There are some individuals missing teeth who are allergic to metals. There are also those who have lost teeth and want the benefits of dental implants but are wary about having metal implanted into their body. These concerns have spurred on research into alternative materials, which has led to the discovery of zirconium oxide.
Better known as zirconia implants, zirconium oxide is a metal-free implant, commonly referred to as a ceramic implant. While considered metal-free, these implants do contain trace amounts of metals, which are necessary for strength. Just like titanium implants, your jawbone fuses to zirconia posts, and research has shown that these implants can be stable and reliable.
Is One Better Than the Other?
Both titanium implants and zirconia implants are biocompatible and integrate well into your jaw. They are both able to provide stable support for your replacement teeth. However, is one better than the other?
Titanium implants have the major advantage of having many years of research and development behind them. They are much better understood. Titanium implants are also available as one-piece and two-piece implants. Two-piece implants allow the posts to be placed in your jaw at an angle, while still keeping your crowns in proper alignment, allowing the implants to take advantage of your existing bone mass for maximum contact. This makes titanium implants a very versatile treatment.
Zirconia implants may not have the same number of years behind it, but it does offer its advantages. Along with being metal-free, these ceramic implants match the color of your ceramic crowns. Titanium posts are silver. If you have naturally thin gum tissue, or you experience gum recession, the posts look like your natural teeth and are not noticeable. However, these implants are only available in single piece implants. This means that they are more restrictive in the situations in which they can be used.
Titanium dental implants have proven very successful. With the development of alternative implants, however, the treatment is being made available to more individuals who are missing teeth. For more information, and to find out if dental implants are right for you, call Madison Oral Surgery & Dental Implants today at (608) 960-7650.
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