As your trusted York, PA dentist, it is our job to tell you when a tooth cannot be saved despite your excellent oral-hygiene practices and commitment to routine exams and cleanings. Whether you’re facing an extraction or have lost teeth because of an unexpected accident or decay, at Bowser Dentistry, we offer implant dentistry and dental implants — a permanent, restorative solution that will give you back your beautiful, natural-looking smile.
What Is a Dental Implant?
In implant dentistry, a dental implant consists of a small, screw-shaped, titanium post that replaces the root of a missing tooth. It is covered by a porcelain crown that looks and feels just like your old tooth. It requires a minor surgical procedure in which the post is inserted into the jawbone where the missing tooth once was and is left to heal for a set period of time. While it heals, the bone fuses to the implant, and then the tooth-like crown is attached.
Why Dental Implants?
Implant dentistry is quickly gaining popularity. Dental implants have a 95 percent tooth-replacement success rate and correct even the most severe problems associated with missing teeth. They are a safe and effective method for replacing missing teeth with new, natural-looking, permanent teeth, and they help preserve the tooth-supporting bone that naturally deteriorates when a tooth is lost, thereby sustaining the integrity of your facial structure.
For many, dental implants offer a much-needed reprieve from ill-fitting, uncomfortable dentures or retainers with false teeth. At Bowser Dentistry, we offer three primary tooth-replacement options. Depending on the number of missing teeth, certain implant options work better than others:
- Single-tooth replacements have the highest success rate, and because they will never decay or need root canal treatments, they are the best long-term investment for replacing a single tooth.
- Multitooth replacements are similar to bridges and are commonly used when three or more teeth in a row are missing. A bridge must connect to a natural tooth, which often becomes weak and starts to decay. With tooth implants, the surrounding teeth are not affected.
- Implant-supported dentures replace entire jawlines along the top or bottom (or both) rows. These dentures lock into place so they will not shift around in the mouth or fall out during jaw movement.
Click To Read More About Implant Supported Dentures
A healthy smile is important to your quality of life. If you are missing all of your teeth, finding a solution that allows you to perform simple daily tasks like eating and speaking naturally can be difficult. At Bowser Dentistry in York, PA, we offer implant-supported dentures as a long-term option for replacing your teeth and some of the roots. Implant dentures will give you back your smile, along with the confidence that their stability ensures.
What Are Implant Dentures?
Implant dentures are the perfect solution for replacing missing teeth. Traditional dentures are made out of an acrylic base that looks like gum tissue, along with natural-looking porcelain or acrylic teeth that are attached to the acrylic base; they are removable and rest on top of the gum line. Denture implants, however, consist of traditional dentures attached to titanium implants, so they are secured directly to the jawbone. They are a good solution for those who have lost all of their teeth but still have enough remaining jawbone to support the titanium implants. They are particularly helpful on the lower jaw, where traditional dentures are far less stable and can become uncomfortable and even painful over time.
Implant dentures can be either removable or fixed for a more permanent solution. There are two main types of implant-supported dentures:
- Bar-retained: A thin metal bar runs along the jaw line and is attach to two to five implants. Clasps are fixed along the bar and dentures so that the dentures can be secured to the bar and held firmly in place.
- Ball-retained: Each implant has a ball-shaped metal attachment that snaps into the denture and holds it securely in place.
The Implant Procedure
The amount of time it takes for the complete implant procedure varies according to which teeth you are replacing and the condition of the remaining gums and jawbones. On average, it takes five months to complete the lower jaw and seven months to complete the upper jaw; however, it can take up to a year or more.
The following steps are involved in receiving your implant dentures.
- Initial consultation: Dr. Bowser has advanced training in the placement of implants and will meet with you to review your medical and dental history, take x-rays, and create impressions of your teeth and gums, with which the models will be made.
- Temporary dentures: If you aren’t wearing a denture, you will be provided with a temporary set to wear until your final implant dentures are ready. This temporary denture will help Dr. Bowser determine the final position of your teeth for your final denture implant.
- First surgery: During the first surgery, the implants will be placed in the jawbone under the gums. Dr. Bowser waits approximately three to four months for the lower jaw or five to six months for the upper jaw before scheduling the next surgery, in order to make sure the implants have properly fused to the jawbone.
- Second surgery: During the second surgery, the implants are exposed and a healing cap is placed on the head of each one. Two weeks later, the healing caps are replaced with the regular abutments, and an impression of the gums and abutments is taken and used to make the final implant denture.
- Denture insertion: The metal bar or balls are placed on the abutments, and the dentist places the dentures for you to try out. Adjustments are then made so that your final denture implant can be inserted.
Implant Denture Aftercare
You will need to remove and clean your denture and all attachments every night. Your implant-supported denture will be more stable and comfortable than your regular denture. You will be able to eat foods that you couldn’t with regular dentures, and you’ll feel confident while speaking and socializing.
Just like your natural teeth, with proper maintenance and cleaning, dental implants can last forever. As part of his job as your dental implant specialist, Dr. Bowser ensures the longevity of your dental work by guiding you through the maintenance and care of your implants at each stage, both immediately after and long after the procedure.
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Are implant-supported dentures permanent?
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To learn more about implant dentures, call Bowser Dentistry at 717.757.3474 to schedule a consultation today!