Matthews Dental Implants 2017-03-24T20:08:55+00:00

Replacing Teeth With Dental Implants

Dental Implant Basics, McKee Dental, Matthews NC

What is a dental implant?

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A dental implant is simply an artificial tooth root. We can use it to replace a single tooth, multiple teeth or a whole arch of teeth. Once the anchor is placed inside the bone, it gets naturally incorporated. It can then be built upon to give you new teeth!

A Brief History of Dental Implants

Ancient Shell Implant

Ancient Shell Implant

Ancient history of dental implants dates back to Egyptian times when sea shells were literally hammered into the jaw to replace missing teeth. Believe it or not, scientists feel that these shells may have actually worked! Slots were made into the bone and the shells were pounded in like little wedges. Without Novocain!
Blade Implant

Blade Implant

By modern standards, the history of implants, as they are known today, goes back some 35 to 40 years. There were two major and diverse schools of thought. In America, blade-shaped implants were placed into the bone, then posts were attached to the blade with bridgework affixed on the posts later.
A second type of implant was called a sub-periosteal framework. These frameworks were custom cast to sit on the jawbone underneath the gum membrane. These types proved to be somewhat unsuccessful and, more importantly, they caused damage when they needed to be removed. Infection was common and bone grafting technology was in its infancy so the damage that was done would often be irreversible.
Subperiosteal Frame

Subperiosteal Frame

branemarkportrait
In 1952, in a modestly appointed laboratory in the university town of Lund, Sweden, Professor Per-Ingvar Brånemark had a lucky accident — what most scientists call serendipity. Much to his irritation, Dr. Brånemark discovered that it was impossible to recover any of the bone-anchored titanium microscopes he was using in his research. The titanium had apparently bonded irreversibly to living bone tissue, an observation which contradicted contemporary scientific theory.
His curiosity aroused, Dr. Brånemark subsequently demonstrated that — under carefully controlled conditions — titanium could be structurally integrated into living bone with a very high degree of predictability and, without long-term soft tissue inflammation or ultimate fixture rejection. Brånemark named the phenomenon osseointegration. The first practical application of osseointegration was the implantation of new titanium roots in an edentulous patient in 1965. More than thirty years later, the non-removable teeth attached to these roots are still functioning perfectly.origimplant

In turn, American technology quickly adopted these principles. The design elements of root-form implants has been refined to an enormous extent including improvements in surface treatments and thread designs.

At this time, well over a half million dental implants are being surgically placed annually. Properly planned and executed, success rates are well over 90 percent. And yet, as rapidly as this field of dentistry is growing, the majority of potential dental implant patients is unaware that this treatment exists.

Single Implant Tooth Replacement, McKee Dental, Matthews, NC

Alternatives to Implant therapy:

partial

Removable partial denture. This clips to the other teeth. It is sometimes referred to as a “flipper” because it can usually be flipped out using your tongue. The primary advantage is cost. Made with acrylic, these can be fabricated inexpensively. The second advantage is that they are reversible. Nothing is prepared on the adjacent teeth and, for the short term anyway, do not cause damage. The main disadvantage is that is feels nothing like your own teeth. It is removeable and so can move both when you want it to and when you don’t (like at a dinner party). It also does nothing to preserve the bone. In fact, pressure on the bony ridge from a denture has been shown to accelerate the bone loss which occurs once a tooth is missing.

ACIDBRIDGE

Resin bonded bridge. This bridge usually has metal or composite (tooth color) wings and is glued to the backs of the adjacent teeth. Though esthetics with metal wings is usually poor, the composite wings can be almost invisible. Most importantly though, in cases where there is enough space, these bridges can provide a fixed-in-place alternative that does not require any major grinding of the adjacent teeth. In this respect, they are also reversible. They can feel very close to what your own teeth feel like. The downsides are that because the technology to fabricate them is somewhat costly, there is little cost savings associated with them. Secondly, they have a limited life span and, if over-stressed, can fracture or come unglued (we call this debonding or delamination). When they break, they are difficult to repair and usually have to be remade altogether. Lastly, they do nothing to preserve the bone.

FPD

Traditional fixed bridge. This is often a reliable option as fixed bridges can last many years. They work by grinding down the teeth on either side for crowns and using the crowns to support the missing tooth in the middle. Think about it as just like a real bridge. Land on either side is used to support a framework held over the water (or space, in this case). Since they involve at least three teeth to support them, there is no savings in cost. The biggest downside is that is the teeth next to the space are in good shape, we are now turning a one tooth problem into three teeth down the line. Nothing that we do lasts forever. Once we have removed good tooth structure to place a bridge, we cannot put it back. Placing crowns may require additional work like root-canals and when these bridges fail, they usually need to be completely replaced. For those reasons, we consider this to be the most aggressive and irreversible option unless the adjacent teeth should be crowned anyway.

Implant: Single Tooth Replacement

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Single Implant. This option is similar in cost to a fixed bridge and is the closest we can come to replicating your own tooth. It is completely independent of the teeth on either side and does not require any modification to your own teeth. The implant, when completed will never decay, will never need a root canal and, with proper care, should last a very long time. This is the only option which will help keep the bone from dissolving away. The main negative factor is the healing time needed for the root portion to fuse to the bone. Healing time ranges between three to six months.

Call our office for a FREE implant consultation to learn how you might benefit from dental implants.

Summary of Single Tooth Replacement

partialACIDBRIDGEFPDreplace7
Removable Partial
Bonded Resin Bridge
Fixed Bridge
Implant Option
Cost
Low
High
High
High
Longevity
Medium
Low
High
High
Complexity
Low
High
High
High
Comfort
Low
High
High
High
Function
Low
Medium
High
High
Esthetics
Medium
Medium
High
High
Invasiveness
Low
Low
High
Low
Protects Bone
No
No
No
Yes

Multiple Tooth Replacement with Implants, McKee Dental, Matthews, NC

Alternatives to Implant therapy:

tib_6000
traditional2

Removable partial denture. This clips to the other teeth. The primary advantage is cost. Made with acrylic, these can be fabricated inexpensively. The second advantage is that they are reversible. Nothing is prepared on the adjacent teeth and, for the short term anyway, do not cause damage. The main disadvantage is that is feels nothing like your own teeth. It is removable and so can move both when you want it to and when you don’t (like at a dinner party). Esthetically, with multiple teeth missing, it is often impossible to hide the metal clips which hold it in place. It also does nothing to preserve the bone. In fact, pressure on the bony ridge from a denture has been shown to accelerate the bone loss which occurs once a tooth is missing.

traditional1

Traditional fixed bridge. This is often a reliable option as fixed bridges can last many years. They work by grinding down the teeth on either side for crowns and using the crowns to support the missing tooth in the middle. Think about it as just like a real bridge. Land on either side is used to support a framework held over the water (or space, in this case). Since they involve at least three teeth to support them, there is no savings in cost. The biggest downside is that is the teeth next to the space are in good shape, we are now extending problems by one tooth each way. Nothing that we do lasts forever. Once we have removed good tooth structure to place a bridge, we cannot put it back. Placing crowns may require additional work like root-canals and when these bridges fail, they usually need to be completely replaced. For those reasons, we consider this to be the most aggressive and irreversible option unless the adjacent teeth should be crowned anyway. Lastly. in situations where we do not have teeth on either side of the space, fixed bridgework is not an option.

Implant: Multiple Tooth Replacement

MultiUnit

Multiple Implants. This option is the closest we can come to replicating your own tooth. It is completely independant of the teeth on either side and does not require any modification to your own teeth. The implant, when completed will never decay, will never need a root canal and, with proper care, should last a very long time. This is the only option which will help keep the bone from dissolving away. The main negative factor is the healing time needed for the root portion to fuse to the bone. Healing time ranges between three to six months.

Call our office for a complimentary implant consultation to learn how you might benefit from dental implants.

Full Arch Dental Restoration with Implants, McKee Dental, Mattews, NC

241498SDCWhen Dentures are Your Only Choice

Whether due to rampant dental decay or severe gum disease with bone loss, it is sometimes necessary to replace all of your teeth and supporting structures with full prostheses, or dentures.

Wearing Dentures is Not Easy

Despite what the TV commercials for glues and pastes may say, For most people,dentures are the beginning of a whole new set of problems and not the end of their tooth problems like they thought. Denture patients are constantly concerned with their teeth and are almost always aware that their teeth are not their own. Dentures shift and move as you speak and they provide a minimum of chewing force. They lose suction which can cause them to come out unexpectedly. As your bone changes and melts away, the fit will worsen and these problems will increase.

It’s about Quality of Life

No denture, no matter how good, comes close to your natural teeth. Implants are the only method in dentistry to naturally replace your teeth while preserving bone and maintaining the quality of life you deserve. There are many levels of implant treatment. Each method is different – not better or worse – than any other. Most importantly, each method provides a solution for a specific set of problems.

Our expertise and experience helps us determine the best solution together with you, not for you. Call our office for a complimentary implant consultation to learn how you might benefit from dental implants.

Snap In Dentures
Bar Supported and Hybrids
Fixed Designs
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tib_602
One of the simplest and most life changing restorations is the placement of two lower implants with snaps or clips that are used to hold the denture in place. Your denture no longer floats in your mouth. It stays secure against the gum providing significantly higher chewing force and greater comfort. When used against an upper denture, the implants may help preserve lower bone.Advantages:

  • Lower cost
  • Minimal visits to fabricate
  • Easy to maintain
  • Preserves jawbone
  • Can be used with significant bone loss

Disadvantages:

  • Still gum supported
  • lower chewing force than other choices
  • Cannot be used for the upper jawbone
This option uses 4 to 8 implants to secure a bar-type understructure. The denture is then fabricated to seat over this bar and lock on. Once locked on, this design is completely implant supported and does not move when you chew. The locks can be made using snaps and the design is very flexible. Because the denture can be unlocked, it is easy to clean around the implants and barAdvantages:

  • Extremely stable – similar to fixed
  • Easy to maintain
  • Preserves jawbone
  • Can be used with significant bone loss

Disadvantages:

  • Moderate to high cost
  • Removable design
  • More visits to fabricate
  • Can require some dexterity to seat and remove.
This option uses 4 to 8 implants to directly secure a denture or fixed bridge. Very small spaces must be left at the gumline to floss and clean around the implants because it cannot be removed. This design is completely implant supported and does not move when you chew. If you don’t want to take out your teeth at night, this is the option to choose.Advantages:

  • Extremely stable – completely fixed design
  • Most similar to natural teeth
  • Preserves jawbone
  • May be used with significant bone loss

Disadvantages:

  • High cost
  • More difficult to maintain
  • More visits to fabricate
  • May not be completely flush to the gumline.