Simpson Oral And Maxillofacial Surgery
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DENTAL IMPLANTS


Dental implants probably represent the most significant treatment option that has been introduced in the last 50 years in dentistry and oral & maxillofacial surgery. Dental implants have been placed since the 1980’s in the United States and have been very successful and frequently represent the best treatment option for the replacement of missing teeth.


What are dental implants?

Dental implants are artificial tooth roots made of titanium. A space is made in the jaw and the implants are placed into that space. An abutment is attached to the implant and then a crown is placed on top of that. The technology, treatment and placement of implants have been changing rapidly. With the advent of tissue engineering, that is to say bone grafting and manipulation of the soft tissue, it has been our experience that we are able to place implants in almost every patient who would want one.

 

 


Who needs dental implants?

Any patients who have missing teeth.


What are the advantages and disadvantages of dental implants?


The advantages of dental implants are that an implant is most similar to a natural tooth. Also the adjacent teeth do not have to be involved in the placement procedure. Studies have shown that the life span of the adjacent teeth when involved with the use of crown and bridgework may significantly compromise their life expectancy. Implants may decrease or help prevent the shrinkage of the jaw bone from tooth loss. They also help to preserve natural facial contours in appearance. They restore oral function in a manner that most closely resembles that of natural teeth.


ADVANTAGES

DISADVANTAGES

An implant is most similar to a natural tooth.

Implants are not intended for everyone.

Adjacent teeth do not have to be involved in the placement procedure.

Implant placement may take longer and may require more dental visits than alternative procedures.

Implants may decrease or help prevent shrinkage of the jawbone from tooth loss.

 

Preserves natural facial contours and appearance.

 

Restores oral function in a manner that most closely resembles natural teeth.

 

What are the other treatment options besides dental implants?


Other treatment options besides dental implants include doing nothing. Clearly this is the least advantageous option as you will not have the function of any teeth. A second option would be a removable partial denture. This is an appliance that you would be able to take in and out of your mouth. The advantage of this is that it is easier to repair and it is less expensive. The disadvantages are that removable bridges can be less stable than the other choices available to you. They can break or be lost. Some people find removable bridges uncomfortable. Some are embarrassed to take their teeth out at night for cleaning and they may move during speech or eating which can affect those functions. Visible metal hooks wrap around surrounding teeth which may make the partial dentures more visible.


A third option would include fixed to the teeth bridgework or a fixed partial denture. The advantage is they look, feel and function like natural teeth and there is no need to remove them to clean them, but they do however have disadvantages. One of them would be they affect the adjoining teeth. Studies have proven that the teeth that are incorporated into the bridgework are less likely to survive long term and more likely to need root canal work. Your dentist must grind down the adjacent teeth, which in some cases are healthy teeth, in order to support a fixed bridge. Also, they may need to be replaced every 5–7 years. Bridge cement may deteriorate allowing bacteria to gain access to the supporting teeth which can cause problems to them.


FIXED BRIDGES (Fixed Partial Denture)

ADVANTAGES

DISADVANTAGES

Look, feel and function like natural teeth.

Likely to be more expensive than removable bridges.

No need to remove from mouth for cleaning.

Affects the adjoining teeth.

 

Your dentist must grind down adjacent healthy teeth to support a fixed bridge.

 

May significantly compromise the life expectancy of support teeth due to permanent changes to tooth structure.

 

Bridge cement may deteriorate, allowing bacteria to gain access to the remainder of the support teeth.

 

May need to be replaced every 5-7 years.

REMOVABLE BRIDGE (Removable Partial Denture)

ADVANTAGES

DISADVANTAGES

Usually easier to repair.

Removable bridges can be less stable than alternative choices.

Usually less expensive.

They can break or be lost.

 

Some people find removable bridges uncomfortable.

 

Some people are embarrassed to take out their teeth at night and for cleaning.

 

May move during speech or eating.

 

Visible metal hooks wrap around surrounding teeth to stabilize the partial.

How will I be evaluated for implants?


During the consultation for implants, Dr. Simpson will evaluate and examine you closely. He will take x-rays that will determine the amount of bone that is left in the jaw because this is the critical issue and will determine the success or failure of the implants. If patients lack bone then additional procedures may be suggested to augment the bone that you have in order to make it more acceptable for the placement of the implants. Impressions may be made as well. We offer a full range of services for the placement of implants and have performed many of the adjunctive procedures in order to graft bone and soft tissue in order to make the patients a more acceptable candidate for the placement of implants. The added benefit in our practice is of course that we are fully licensed to administer IV sedation and general anesthesia for the placement of implants.