Dental Implants Shreveport, LA
Need a Tooth Replacement? Consider Dental Implants
Dental Implants are for patients who are missing one or more teeth due to injury, decay, congenital condition or a host of other reasons. Often, those with missing teeth can get dentures made from plastic and metal. Dentures typically cost less depending on the number of teeth involved and they are easy to make. However, they need to be removed and cleaned with special cleaners to prevent disease. While the patient is eating, dentures may shift and become uncomfortable.
One of the biggest issues is that the adhesives used to secure the dentures in the mouth can trap particles which could cause decay and gum disease to any remaining natural teeth. The adhesives tend to be messy, and if there are any particles trapped between the adhesive and the gum, it can cause a lot of discomfort. While dentures have been used for centuries as a functional solution to missing teeth, some people still have an aversion to them and find them hard to use and maintain.
Traditional Dental Implants
Titanium posts are placed in the jawbone and are used to secure the dental crown in the space where the tooth is missing. Dentists chose titanium because this lightweight metal also has a thin film that prevents corrosion from acids, salts, oxygen and other substances. It’s extremely strong and is biocompatible, meaning that it won’t be rejected by the body. When the implant is anchored in the jawbone, the bone grows around the implant. This natural process is called osseointegration.
How It Works
Traditional implants require several steps to complete once you meet with your dental care provider. After the titanium post is secured in the jawbone, you will need to heal and wait until the osseointegration process is completed. This could take weeks or months. Once the implant is fused, the doctor will attach a small connector, which is placed on top of the implant to connect the replacement teeth. Though this procedure does take longer than adhesive denture fittings, it produces beautiful, long lasting results that will help patients feel more secure and confident. However, not all patients are able to go this traditional route.
A Non-traditional Alternative: All-on-4 Teeth
If bone loss occurs because of the absence of roots, patients may need a bone graft to support the rebuilding process and make it strong enough for traditional or mini dental implant. For those who are unable to do a bone graft due to health reasons, there is the All-on-4 procedure. This procedure was developed in 1999 and involves four implants, a fixed prosthesis and at least a dozen teeth.
A bridge supports prosthetic teeth and the titanium implants act as pillars for the entire denture. Even if there is bone loss, grafts are unnecessary and can be done in two phases. First, remaining teeth are removed and a temporary bridge is placed. After healing and bonding, the denture is installed. Approximately a quarter of all patients qualify for All-on-4. Apart from not needing bone grafts, patients liked the shorter treatment times and the minimally invasive procedure.
Whether you’re a candidate for traditional implants or All-on-4, dental implants have been around for over three decades. As surgeries go, dental surgery is one of the safest you can undergo. The replacement teeth are made of porcelain or acrylic and look as natural as your own original teeth. They are customized to your smile, they resist staining and wear, and they stay where they’re supposed to without wobbling. In some respects, they work even better than natural teeth. If you aren’t sure of whether you are a candidate for either procedure, make an appointment with your dentist to get evaluated.