Dental implants have changed the way we replace missing teeth. Rather than restoring only those parts of the teeth visible above the gum line, dental implants make it possible for us to replace the root system as well. Whether you’re missing one tooth or a full arch of teeth, dental implant supported tooth replacement can offer your prosthetic improved stability and longevity. Call our team to schedule a dental implant consultation at Smiles in Springfield.
Dental implant supported tooth replacement is completed over two phases. The initial phase is a minor surgical procedure where one or more high quality, biocompatible titanium implant posts is placed. The length of the procedure is variable depending largely on the number and position of the implants to be placed. The procedure itself is relatively straightforward. We make a small incision in the gum tissue. Then, we insert the dental implant into the jawbone positioning it for optimal support of your restoration. Once in place, we’ll attach a healing cap to the top of the dental implant post. This cap shapes the soft tissue around the implant to maintain space to attach the abutments and prosthetic teeth. Following the placement of dental implants, you’ll need to wait three to six months for the implant post to fuse with the gum and supportive bone tissue before we attach the replacement tooth or teeth.
Following the implant placement and osseointegration process, you can return to our office to have your tooth replacement restoration attached. We’ll first need to connect an abutment. This is the attachment piece that affixes your restoration to the dental implant or implants. In many cases, we’re able to attach the restoration on the same day we place the abutments. This depends largely on your own comfort and oral health. For those patients missing just a few consecutive missing teeth, we’ll attach a dental crown or fixed bridge to one or two implant posts. A single dental crown attached to a dental implant can replace a single tooth, and in some situations, two dental crowns fused together can be attached to a single implant post for support. Those patients who have three or four consecutive missing teeth will need at least two dental implant posts, one on each end, to support the row of replacement teeth.
As the name indicates, mini implants are a smaller version of regular dental implants. We may recommend mini implants for those patients who need to replace the smaller teeth in the front of their smiles and for those patients who may not have optimal jawbone density to support an implant. Mini implants require less time to fuse with the jawbone, but apart from that, the placement and restoration process is the same as it is for traditional dental implants.