Louisville Dental Implants
Dental implants are used to permanently replace teeth that are missing or cannot be saved. They serve as root replacements to support crowns, bridges, or dentures.
Dental implants have revolutionized modern dentistry in the replacement of missing, or soon to be missing teeth. A dental implant serves the same function as your natural tooth root and is surgically placed just beneath the gums, fusing with the jawbone over a short period of time. It is used to hold a dental bridge or a replacement tooth. This implantation guarantees a very strong foundation for the dental prosthetic that will be used to replace the missing teeth of our patients.
What benefits will patients get from dental implants?
Dental implants are the closest thing to natural teeth. When the entire tooth (including the root) is replaced, the feel and function of natural teeth are replicated. Implants stimulate bone tissue, and that helps prevent the bone loss that inevitably follows tooth loss. Ultimately, this preservation of bone can enhance your appearance by maintaining your natural facial contours. Since missing teeth can also pose a problem with speech and chewing food, dental implants are the best way to improve phonetics, nutrition, and overall health in the process. Dental implants also do not require the reduction of natural tooth structure of the adjacent teeth in order to use them as anchors for traditional crown & bridge procedures. In addition, dental implants can eliminate loose-fitting dentures, and bring back the self-confidence that patients may have lost due to their missing teeth. In all, this long list of advantages has propelled dental implants into the current gold-standard of care.
What does a dental implant procedure look like?
Dental implants require surgery to be installed and it is very important that we determine that each of our patients is suitable to receive a dental implant. Our team may perform diagnostic tests to decide whether or not dental implants are the best option for you given your current dental condition.
Dental implants involve the placement of a small titanium post in the bone where your tooth used to be. In approximately 6-12 weeks, this post will integrate with the jawbone as it heals. Once the dentist establishes that the implant has completely healed, an abutment and tooth will be secured to the implant, completing the procedure.
Single tooth replacement
A single implant is inserted into the bone to replace the root of a tooth; a crown then goes on top to simulate an actual tooth. This treatment choice has a high success rate, making it the best long-term investment for replacing a single missing tooth or one that has to be removed. An implant is the solution that feels most similar to the tooth that it replaces.
Multiple Tooth Replacement
Implants provide an ideal replacement option if you have lost or will lose several teeth. As an example, if you are missing three teeth in a row, a fixed bridge can be created supported by two implants. This consists of two implants, one on either side of the gap, and a crown in between that has no implant underneath. Using implants rather than supporting false teeth with adjacent natural teeth, avoids the cutting away of tooth structure which could weaken them and make them more susceptible to future decay, root canal problems or fracture. The alternative of one implant per tooth can also be considered, if individualized teeth are the preferred solution.
Full Arch Tooth Replacement - “Teeth in a Day”
If you are missing, or need to remove all teeth in one or both jaws, implants may allow you to have a fixed full-arch bridge fabricated as well.
As an alternative to wearing a full denture (if there is adequate bone or bone augmentation procedures can be performed to grow sufficient bone) multiple implants can be placed across the jawbone to provide support for a fixed bridge. This procedure is similar to those described for single or multiple implants but requires careful diagnosis, planning and coordination before treatment begins. This attention to detail will ensure that an appropriate number of implants can safely be placed in positions that will allow your dentist to fabricate a bridge which will meet your needs and expectations.
The number of implants necessary for a full-arch fixed bridge varies depending on your particular anatomy, the opposing teeth, the type of bridge you want to have placed and the number of teeth you want or need to replace with the prosthesis. A full arch of implants can be placed when you are already missing all teeth in one of your jaws. If you have teeth remaining, they may need to be removed as a first step before implant surgery can proceed, or sometimes the teeth may be extracted and implants placed immediately after the teeth have been removed. You may be able to have a temporary fixed-bridge made to help transition from your own teeth to implants. In this scenario (“Teeth in a Day”), the temporary bridge stays in place which allows chewing, speaking and smiling on the same day as the procedure - all without having to wear a removable denture. If it is not possible to retain enough teeth to support a fixed bridge while the implants are healing, then you may need to wear a removable denture temporarily, but this is only in rare instances.
Call 502-969-2396 or contact us online to schedule your appointment.