One of an elite, specially trained group of cosmetic dentists to offer dental implants, Dr. Sheldon Seidman is pleased to provide his patients with one of the most exciting procedures available in cosmetic and implant dentistry today.
For individuals who wish to replace missing teeth, dental implants may be an effective long-term solution. Dental implants provide greater structural support and last longer than either dental bridges or dentures. Dental implants serve as the artificial root to which new teeth are bonded. They are typically constructed of titanium, a strong and safe material that effectively attaches to bone. The procedure to insert dental implants typically involve three steps: the implant insertion stage, osseointegration (the period of healing for the jawbone), and the attachment of the restoration or new tooth.
Types of Dental Implants
In implant dentistry, the most popular form of dental implant is the root implant. This type of dental implant is very effective and mirrors the size and shape of a patient’s natural tooth. Many times, this implant will be as strong structurally as the original tooth’s root. Once the dentist applies the local anesthesia, he or she makes an incision in the gum in order to gain access to the jawbone. The bone is then prepared, and the dental implant is inserted into the jawbone with care and precision. Finally, the dentist stitches the gums and, if necessary, prescribes an appropriate medication. During the osseointegration step, which lasts anywhere from three to eight months, the jawbone firmly attaches itself to the dental implant. Once osseointegration is complete, the patient returns to the dental office, where the dental implant is fitted with the new tooth.
Another form of implant dentistry is the plate form implant. This dental implant is ideal in situations where the jawbone is not wide enough to properly support a root implant. The plate form dental implant is long and thin, unlike the root implant, and anchors into thin jawbones. The insertion process is the same as for a root implant, but in certain cases, plate dental implants are immediately fitted with the restoration without waiting for the osseointegration period.
The last type of dental implant used for implant dentistry is the subperiosteal implant. These dental implants are utilized when the jawbone has receded to the point where it no longer supports a permanent implant. These implants are placed on top of the bone and embedded in the gums, but not in the jawbone as with the other types of dental implants. The dentist applies a local anesthesia, and makes a mold of the mouth and jawbone. From this impression, a dental lab constructs implants to custom fit the patient’s jaw. On the second visit to the dentist, the dentist exposes the jawbone and inserts the dental implant on top of it. Over the next month the gums grow up and around the implant. This same type of implant can sometimes be performed in a single procedure with the use of an initial CAT scan of the gumline and jawbone.
Dental Implant Risks
As with any cosmetic surgery, complications for implant dentistry are rare but can include infection, slight damage to nerves, and mild discomfort. Although very unlikely, infection of the gums or jawbone is a possibility but can be treated through antibiotics or another medication. Surgery to the upper or lower jawbone can result in mild nerve damage. Nerve damage typically subsides in several weeks but can persist for longer periods of time. As the jawbone heals, patients may experience some discomfort, which can be tempered through medication. Discomfort should subside within seven to ten days.
Dental Implant Maintenance
Although patients should always practice proper dental hygiene, this is especially true once a dental implant has been put into place. When teeth and gums are not properly cleaned, bacteria can attack sensitive areas, causing the gums to swell and the jawbone to gradually recede. Enough recession of the jawbone can weaken dental implants and eventually necessitate their removal. Patients should visit their dentists’ offices at least twice a year in order to ensure the health of their teeth and dental implants. Following an implant dentistry operation, smoking should be avoided, as it impairs the ability of the gum and jawbone to heal. Given the proper care, dental implants should last 25 years or longer.
If you are interested in learning more about dental implants and implant dentistry or other cosmetic dentistry procedures, please contact cosmetic dentist Dr. Sheldon Seidman at Smile Chicago.