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Dr. Anna Szmitko
and Associates

Dental Implants

Dental implants are the best option to provide you with a stable, permanent solution to tooth replacement.

Why Dental Implants?

Even if you’ve just lost a single tooth a dental implant can be a very smart and long-term, cost-effective solution. When you’ve lost a single tooth the surrounding jaw bone begins to collapse and shrink. Not acting immediately to replace the lost tooth can result in a more costly dental restoration that results from bone loss & periodontal disease.

What are Dental Implants?

The dental implant itself is not actually the crown or replacement tooth. The implant itself, made of titanium or titanium alloy acts as a substitute for the root of your original tooth and is placed into the jaw bone. A custom restoration that’s designed to match a natural looking crown/tooth is then attached to the titanium implant.

The Dental Implant Procedure

Over time, the dental implant procedure has become a relatively painless procedure that typically allows you to return to work or your normal daily routine the day after the procedure. In a single day, the dental implants themselves will be placed, along with temporary crowns. Over the next few months, a process known as osseointegration will take place where the bone grows around the dental implant and will hold it firmly in place. After this process has run its course, the artificial tooth/teeth can be placed. Each tooth is custom-made so that it looks like the original tooth or blends in seamlessly with the other teeth.

Dental Implants for Denture Wearers

Dental implants are a fantastic solution for denture wearers that provide them with the confidence they need to eat all of the foods that they love. Foods like meat, apples, broccoli or corn-on-the-cob can present great challenges with dentures due to the lack of stability. Dental implants provide you with the stability necessary to chew these foods without worry.

The Overdenture Procedure

Over the last 15 years or so, the overdenture procedure has become an incredibly popular and cost-effective procedure for denture wearers. The overdenture procedure involves placing 2 dental implants into the jaw bone of the lower arch which anchors the lower denture in place and allow them to snap in and snap out.

Benefits of the Overdenture Procedure:

1. Cost-Effective
The 2 dental implants used in the overdenture are the minimum number needed for the procedure. Prior to the time when the overdenture procedure became popular, a greater number of dental implants were necessary for a denture wearer or someone missing most or all of their teeth.

2. Preserve Bone Structure
Adding dental implants helps preserve the remaining bone structure.

3. Nutritional Benefits
Studies have shown that patients who have had the overdenture procedure done significantly altered their eating habits because of the increased confidence they had in eating a wider variety of healthy foods.

How Many Implants Do I Need?

As little as 1 implant can be needed if only one tooth is being replaced.

More commonly, if you’re missing an entire row/arch of teeth, a minimum of 2 implants is necessary. This is known as the overdenture procedure where the implants are placed on the lower row/arch. Four dental implants is oftentimes a preferred option for the patient because it will provide them with more stability and confidence when chewing.

Six or eight implants are necessary if you’re looking to forgo dentures and have a permanent, fixed set of teeth.