Dental implants replace missing teeth by inserting a titanium dental implant into the patient's jawbone. If there is insufficient bone, bone grafts may be necessary to increase the amount of bone available for the dental implant. Bone Grafting usually takes about 3 months to heal before a dental implant can be placed. The dental implants are then placed and can take 5 to 6 more months to heal before the final porcelain restoration can be placed on top of the implant. Dental implants are not sensitive, do not decay, are very strong and durable, look completely natural and have great chewing power. Everyone of our patients said it feels just like a natural tooth.
When teeth are missing, there are several treatment options available to patients, including: Dental Implants, Fixed Dental Bridges, Removable Partial Dentures and Full Dentures.
Mini Implants (such as Imtec Mini and Sterngold Mini) can be used when there is minimal bone and the patient does not want to have a bone graft surgery. Mini implants are not as strong, but can function very well for years. Generally, it is better to place more mini dental implants to provide a stronger foundation to hold a denture. However, it is best to place full size implants when possible.
A fixed porcelain bridge replaces a missing tooth by connecting a porcelain tooth to the two neighboring teeth. A dental bridge is predictable, reliable and can last for many years. Dr. Muslin has seen dental bridges serve patients for over 30 years without a problem. The patient doesn't even remember that a tooth was missing because a fixed bridge looks and feels like your natural teeth.
Dentures are removable. The patient removes the partial or full denture to clean under it and to brush their gums. Sometimes the dentures have to be removed during a meal for greater comfort and because food gets under or around the edges. Dentures and Partial dentures are generally more affordable than a fixed bridge or dental implants.
The best care is to utilize dental implants to stabilize and secure the removable denture. Dental implants are placed under the denture and the denture snaps to the dental implants. Now the patient has the best of both technologies at the lowest cost. The biggest problem with dentures is that they get loose. Dental implants help hold the denture in solid position for better chewing and talking with confidence.
This patient had all of her upper teeth saved in an uncommon way. The denture was made to fit over her existing upper teeth. She did not want to loose her teeth, but did not have enough teeth for a fixed bridge; and dental implants would have made her overall treatment much too expensive. This patient now has an overdenture that goes over her remaining upper teeth. Saving the roots of her existing teeth give the denture much more support and stability.
The treatment for her lower jaw was a single, long span fixed bridge. A fixed bridge will last many years because the full denture on her upper jaw minimizes stress on the lower fixed bridge. Crown lengthening was also necessary on teeth that had a lot of decay below the gum line. This procedure allows the dentist to have a better grip on the tooth by exposing tooth structure that was formerly below the jawbone. This patient needed every lower tooth possible for the fixed bridge. To save these teeth, she received root canal treatment. Root Canal treatment is a process of cleaning and disinfecting the nerve inside the tooth, in efforts to save a tooth.
The goal of the entire treatment plan was to restore this patient to maximum dental health. All of the missing teeth had to be replaced to give her the ability to chew her food for better digestion and health. Facelift Dentistry® goes beyond dental health, beyond cosmetic dentistry and beyond just replacing missing teeth to reach a level of care that lengthens the face, supports the lips and revitalizes the entire appearance.