What are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is a replacement tooth. It consists of two parts: the “implant” and the “crown.”
The implant is a small titanium screw fused to the jawbone where a tooth is missing. The crown, a false tooth, is affixed to this screw, which essentially serves as a fake “root.” Since they are affixed to the jawbone, they are very sturdy and can last for years.
Different types of implants are available depending on how many teeth need to be replaced. Cranberry Dental Studio offers the following options
What to Expect from Our Dental Implant Procedure
Here is a detailed breakdown of the procedure:
- Consultation: We confirm that you are a good candidate for implants with an in-person examination. X-rays are done to confirm that the necessary underlying bone structure is there to support an implant.
- Dental Implant Surgery: We surgically implant the metal screw into the jaw. This is done under anesthesia so that the patient doesn’t feel any pain.
- Bone healing: We give the bone surrounding the screw time to heal. A process known as osseointegration occurs, where living bone grows around the screw, anchoring it even more firmly in place. This takes three to six months.
- Crown placement: Finally, we place the crowns (the fake teeth) by affixing it to the now firmly anchored screws. Crowns are designed by a highly trained dental technician so that it has the right size, shape, and color to blend in seamlessly with the surrounding teeth.
When only one tooth is missing, a single dental implant will suffice. This consists of a single screw and a single crown.
If a few adjacent teeth are missing, an implant-supported bridge is recommended. This consists of the “bridge,” a series of connected false teeth. It’s held in place via a single screw affixed to the jawbone on either end.
If a patient has a full row of missing teeth on either the top or bottom, an implant-supported denture is an option. This consists of a complete denture arch that is secured with a series of implants spaced along the jawbone.
Who Can Benefit from Dental Implants?
Dental implants are ideal for individuals with limited tooth loss. If you are just lacking a single tooth or a few adjacent replacement teeth, this option is for you.
You are a good candidate for dental implants if you meet the following additional criteria:
- Sufficient bone density: You must have enough bone density in the underlying jaw structures to support the implant. Otherwise, there is nothing for the titanium screw to anchor to.
- Overall good dental health: Healthy teeth and gums are a prerequisite for dental implants. Periodontal disease can increase the risk of complications, such as an infection, after the procedure.
- Willingness to adhere to care instructions: To lower the risk of complications during the healing process, we will ask you to take steps like refraining from smoking. If you aren’t ready to follow these recommendations (which are for your health and safety) a dental implant procedure may not be for you at this time.
Dental implants aren’t ideal for everybody. If you have already experienced substantial tooth loss – such as an entire top or bottom set of teeth, traditional dentures may be your preferred artificial tooth alternative. At Cranberry Dental Studio, we also offer this option. Learn more about our dentures.
Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Implants
We believe that well-informed patients are happy patients. Discover the answers to common questions below.
Implants enhance the appearance of your smile and can boost your confidence. They also improve your oral health. When there is a gap in a row of teeth, adjacent teeth migrate to fill the hole. This creates misalignment, making it more difficult to clean teeth effectively – increasing the risk of cavities and gum disease.
Assuming you care for your new teeth properly and don’t subject them to any trauma, they can last from 10 to 20 years, or even a lifetime.
You care for dental implants just like you do your regular teeth. Brushing, flossing, and using a mouthwash will keep harmful bacteria at bay.
Stock up on soft foods and fill any prescriptions in advance so you don’t have to deal with a trip to the pharmacy or grocery store after your procedure. You will also want to line up a friend or family member to drive you home afterward since you’ll have undergone anesthesia.
It’s best to eat soft foods for the first few days, like applesauce, soups, and smoothies. Avoid smoking, as this can delay healing and increase the risk of infection.
No. We do this procedure with anesthesia, so you aren’t in pain. If necessary, we will prescribe you medication to manage any jaw discomfort while healing.
The cost varies depending on how many teeth need to be replaced and, consequently, which type of implant you need. We can provide you with a cost estimate following an in-person consultation.
Modern Restorative Dentistry at Cranberry Dental Studio in Pittsburgh, PA
If you have experienced significant problems with your natural teeth and are interested in a durable, lasting solution, dental implants may be for you. The first step to regaining your radiant smile is to consult Cranberry Dental Studio of Pittsburgh, PA. We have the expertise and knowledge needed to determine which type of dental implant best suits your needs.
We work closely with a trusted dental lab to ensure that our patients get the highest quality implants possible.
Our aim is to give you a smile you love – and love to show off. Request your free consultation online or call (724) 776-2280