Dental implants have over a 95% success rate and have become the number one solution for missing teeth. This sophisticated tooth replacement option offers more health benefits and is more realistic than the alternative options.
Pomona, NY dentists Dr. Peter Auster and Dr. Frances Tang have advanced training in implant dentistry and can help you restore your oral health. Below, we will discuss exactly what dental implants are and how they work.
What is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is an innovative device that is used to secure fake teeth and replace the root structure of missing teeth. An implant is a screw-like rod that is typically made of titanium. This type of metal is often used inside the human body and is considered safe.
The implants are surgically placed into the jaw bone where they will fuse with the surrounding bone. They come in variety of lengths and diameters to accommodate the different locations along the upper and lower arches of bone.
Typical dental implant – A typical dental implant is about 3.4 mm to 4.2 mm in diameter. They are placed in the front of the mouth because they are skinny and short.
Wide platform dental implant – This type of implant is between 4.5 mm and 6 mm in diameter. They are used in the back of the mouth to support molars.
Mini dental implant – A mini implant is narrow and ranges in diameter from 1.8 mm to 3.3 mm. They are used when there is less room between the roots or when a patient does not have enough bone density.
Parts of a Dental Implant
Implant Post: The implant post itself is the first part of an implant-supported dental restoration. This piece must be surgically implanted into the jaw bone, where it will prevent bone loss and support the new, fake teeth. It will take a few months for it to completely fuse with the surrounding bone. A patient may require 1-8 implants per arch to support their restoration.
Abutment: After the implants have fused with the jaw bone, a small piece called an abutment is attached to the posts. This involves a minor surgery where the implants will be uncovered to connect them.
Sometimes a healing abutment is placed immediately once the implant is placed. In this circumstance, a second minor surgery is not necessary. Instead, the healing abutment is replaced with the permanent one.
Dental Restoration: A dental restoration is the part that will replace the missing teeth. It is the last thing to be attached to complete your new smile. The type of restoration you need will depend on how many teeth you are missing.
- For a single missing tooth, your dentist will have one dental implant placed in the jaw bone. A dental crown will be attached to it and act as a new tooth.
- For multiple consecutive missing teeth, at least two dental implant posts will be placed in the jaw bone. A custom made dental bridge will be attached to the implants.
- For an entire row of missing teeth, up to eight dental implants will be used to secure a custom made full denture.