Many patients who visit McDonald Dental require dental implants. These are surgical devices placed in the jaw to hold an artificial tooth or bridge in place. When you lose a tooth because of injury, periodontal disease, or another cause, we can replace the tooth and restore your healthy smile. An implant is necessary to support the artificial tooth or bridge.
What Materials Are Dental Implants Made Of?
Common implants are made using titanium screws which mimic the structure and function of natural tooth roots. These titanium screws are usually made in four grades, determined by the carbon, oxygen, iron, and nitrogen content. Because technology has advanced significantly in recent decades, the implants are well-designed to duplicate the functionality of natural teeth roots as closely as possible. Ceramic is another common material used for dental implants.
Types of Dental Implants
There are two categories of implants, depending on which structure they are attached to. Subperiosteal implants refer to those implanted in or above the gumline, but not the jawbone. We perform this type of implant for patients who do not have a substantial enough jawbone to attach the implant there. Endosteal implants, the more common type, are attached directly to the jawbone.
In patients with compromised jawbones due to illness or injury, we can often rebuild the bone in the affected area so that an endosteal implant can be attached. A bone augmentation refers to adding of bone material and stimulating natural bone growth in the jawbone. Bone grafting, the process of attaching bone material to the jawbone which fortifies it, is the most common method of bone augmentation. The bone material for the graft can be obtained either from your own body (autograft) or from a donor (allograft). The bone then grows naturally around the added material. For patients who opt for bone augmentation, it can take anywhere between several weeks to months for the jawbone to heal properly before implants can be added. Sometimes, growth hormones can help speed up the process.
There are other options for adding material to the jawbone for implant support. A ridge expansion involves creating new space on the jawbone for an implant by widening the jawbone. We separate the jawbone, add new material in the space, and allow the bone to heal. We then have enough room to support the implant. In another similar procedure called distraction osteogenesis, our team carefully pulls a bone apart, repositioning it to allow natural bone growth in the space.
Should I Be Concerned About Receiving Implants?
Implants are one of the most common dental procedures. Our dentists have years of experience in safely and effectively applying implants to patients who need them. Almost all patients who are in good overall health are candidates for implants. Depending on the current state of your gums and jawbone, though, the process may involve more work for some.
Our qualified and experienced team can help you with any questions or concerns you have related to implants. Contact us McDonald Dental at (346) 250-3575 today and make an appointment to visit our clinic.