A dental implant is a prosthetic device, typically made of titanium, that is surgically placed into the jawbone to replace a missing tooth root. It provides a stable base for supporting a replacement tooth such as a crown, bridge, or denture. The implant integrates with the surrounding bone over time to provide a strong, secure foundation for the replacement tooth.
A dental implant consists of three parts, including the titanium screw , the abutment (connector) and the custom-made crown. The structure of a dental implant is meant to simulate that of a real tooth, with ‘roots’ (titanium implant) to prevent bone loss and keep your smile anchored, and beautiful custom crowns that give you chewing function and a gorgeous smile.
Dental implants can be used in a variety of ways, to replace a single tooth, several teeth in a row using an implant bridge, or a full mouth replacement using the All-on-4 or All-on-6 treatment.
What is the dental implant process? Step by Step
The first step is to extract all remaining portions of the existing tooth, then place a titanium screw into the jaw through a surgical procedure. We use titanium implants because this material is highly compatible with the human body. Titanium is the same material used in hip and knee replacements. It has years of research to show it is a well-suited material for the human body and can last a lifetime.
The titanium screw replaces the root of the tooth and prevents further bone loss in the jaw. We then wait somewhere between three and six months while a process called osseointegration takes place— your bone will grow around the screw, then an abutment will be attached. An abutment is a connector that allows us to attach a custom-made crown to the implant. The crown of the tooth is the part of the tooth you see in the mouth and chew with and is attached to the abutment. The crown is typically made of zirconia or porcelain fused to metal, both biocompatible.
Advantages and Disadvantages of a Dental Implant
Most of the patients at STAR Dental Implant Center need dental implants to replace damaged or missing teeth. Implants have many advantages: because they look and feel natural, nobody will ever know you have had dental surgery. Unlike dentures, dental implants are fixed to your mouth and won’t move when you chew or speak— you will be able to enjoy all your favorite foods again!
Additionally, dental implants are excellent option to replace missing teeth from a medical standpoint. While missing teeth, natural tooth bridges, and dentures allow the jawbone to recede, implants fuse directly into the bone and prevent bone loss. All materials used in STAR Dental’s implants are biocompatible and long-lasting, offering a solution to tooth loss that is much more sustainable in the long term than tooth replacement alternatives.
Most importantly, dental implants will make you feel confident in your smile again. Our patients regularly tell us that they are back to smiling in photos, sharing meals with friends and family, and speaking in public without feeling self-conscious.
Unlike a traditional bridge on natural teeth or a partial or complete denture, dental implants require a minimum of three months before a crown can be added to the titanium screw, this means you will have to wait longer to have a completed tooth. Additionally, there may be bone grafting required to place an implant. Bone grafting may extend the length of time needed to complete treatment further.
Which Dental Implant Treatment Do I Need?
Single Dental Implant
Single dental implants are a type of dental implant that is used to replace one missing tooth. They consist of a single titanium post that is surgically placed into the jawbone to serve as a new tooth root, and a replacement tooth (such as a crown) that is attached to the post. Single dental implants provide a stable, permanent solution for missing teeth, preserving the surrounding jawbone and helping to maintain the integrity of adjacent teeth.
Dental implant bridges are a type of dental prosthesis that replaces multiple missing teeth by using two or more dental implants to support a bridge that spans the gap created by the missing teeth. The implants are surgically placed into the jawbone, and the bridge is attached to the implants, providing a secure and stable replacement for missing teeth. Dental implant bridges are an alternative to traditional bridges that rely on surrounding natural teeth for support, and they provide a more permanent solution for missing teeth by preserving the jawbone and preventing deterioration of adjacent teeth.
Full Mouth Dental Implants
Full mouth dental implants, also known as complete arch or full arch dental implants, are a type of dental prosthesis that replaces a full set of upper or lower teeth. They typically consist of 4, 5, 6, or 8 dental implants that are surgically placed into the jawbone, and a full arch of replacement teeth that are attached to the implants. Full mouth dental implants provide a stable and permanent solution for missing or severely damaged teeth, restoring the patient’s ability to bite, chew, and speak properly. They also help to preserve the jawbone and prevent deterioration of adjacent teeth, providing a more functional and natural-looking replacement for missing teeth. Full-mouth dental implant treatments are sometimes referred to as an All-on-4, All-on-5, All-on-6, or 3-on-8. These treatments are an alternate to the traditional removable denture. With these treatments we can customize your smile specifically for you; from a Hollywood smile to a natural-looking smile, we will design you a smile you will love to see in the mirror every morning!