If there is one treatment that has revolutionized modern dentistry it is dental implants. These standalone devices enable patients to experience the function and appearance of a natural tooth in an artificial alternative. The practice of placing dental implants is often referred to as implantology and has become a dental specialism. Many patients who are found not to be suitable for conventional dental implants may require a treatment known as bone grafting to make the procedure successful.
The unique design of dental implants helps to make them a versatile treatment that is currently the most successful tooth replacement treatment available. The key to the design lies in a titanium post, which is implanted into the jaw bone and acts as an artificial root for the prosthetic tooth. Currently, no other tooth replacement solution has a viable artificial root and instead, they rely on neighboring teeth for support. Over time, this can place undue pressure on them, causing damage and other problems to develop.
When the titanium post of a dental implant is placed into the jaw bone via the gum, the live bone is stimulated to regrow around it. This is what secures the implant permanently in place and is known as osseointegration. However, the placement of the titanium posts is integral to the success of the procedure. Not only does your implantologist need to be assured that the implant will not disturb any major nerves in the jaw, the implant must also be placed where there is sufficient health bone to regrow around it. If osseointegration fails to occur, the artificial root of the implant will not be secured, leading to total failure of the entire device.
The visible part of the dental implant takes the form of a porcelain or zirconia crown, which is attached to the titanium post using a special connector called an abutment. This crown will have been custom designed in the shape, size and color needed to blend seamlessly with the rest of your smile, ensuring that your dental implant is as discreet as it is strong.
Dental implant technology can now be used to place single implants, implant-supported bridges and partial and full implant-supported dentures. Where a patient has multiple missing teeth, it is usually possible to support multiple prosthetics on just a few implant posts. In some cases, an entire arch of around 10 teeth can be placed securely on between 4 and 8 implant posts depending on your individual circumstances.
In conventional dental implant procedures, the process of applying implants takes place over several appointments spaced months apart as it is necessary to wait for osseointegration before the implant posts can be loaded with the permanent crowns. Instead you are fitted with temporary crowns while the final ones are being created. However, in some practices it is now possible to have dental implants placed and your final prosthetics attached in just one day.
Before you can be accepted as a candidate for dental implants, you will first need to have the health and density of your jaw bone assessed by your implantologist. This will be done using a series of checks including x-rays and scans of your mouth and jaw.
As you have probably guessed from the name, bone grafting is a surgical procedure during which natural bone or artificial bone is grafted on to an existing area of bone in your body. Since dental implants are reliant on there being sufficient healthy bone in the jaw for osseointegration to take place, bone grafting is a procedure that patients lacking this undergo to enable them to benefit from dental implants.
The bone grafting procedure is fairly straightforward and involves taking either a small piece of bone from another part of your body, or using artificial bone grafting material, and transplanting it onto the area of the jaw that requires attention. A collagen membrane then covers the graft and acts as a scaffold to support the new bone.
Although the new bone will start to grow virtually immediately, it can take between 4 and 6 months for enough density to be created to support a dental implant. Provided the procedure has been successful, the patient will then be able to undergo implantology services to place the dental implants that they need to restore their smile.
If you are considering dental implants and would like more information about our implantology or bone grafting services, or if you would like to schedule a consultation with our experienced dental implant team, please call our Manhattan, NY office today where our staff will be delighted to assist you. Belviso is a quality provider of Dental Implants and Bone Grafting treatments.