Dental Implants are highly predictable and have the highest level of long-term success rates in dentistry. According to a 15-year-studies report, 90% of titanium implants are still present and in function. Titanium is well accepted by the human body and can integrate with the alveolar bone very predictably (my short-term success rate is 98%).
Missing or hopeless teeth create a difficult time with eating (masticating) food and can also be unsightly. A dental implant can be placed as long as the amount and quality of bone provides adequate support for the fixture during healing. Having a Dental CT scan taken and reviewed prior to implant placement can help determine if any necessary procedures are required prior to or at time of implant placement. With this single scan, Dr. Engle can identify if any pre-surgical infection exists or if the anatomy of the bone requires any additional bone growing techniques. The Dental CT scan at Engle Dentistry can maximize your level of implant success.
There are different restorative options when considering dental implants. With proper planning, an implant can be restored as an individual crown, implant bridge, or to help retain loose/ removable appliances. They can look just like a natural tooth as the picture demonstrates.
Replacing an anterior tooth with an implant requires a surgeon that understands the soft tissue (gums) as well as restoring principles to achieve results like the one above.
Implants can be used to replace a few missing teeth or even a full arch of teeth. Wearing a removable appliance is very challenging to most patients. Partial dentures can have unsightly wires while full dentures are difficult to eat with and sometimes a challenge to keep secured in the mouth. With the advances in dental materials, a full arch of ceramic teeth can be fabricated with enough strength to avoid chipping and breaking of the appliance.
The picture below demonstrates two different types of implant retained appliances. The upper teeth is all ceramic (Zirconium). The material is extremely durable, can avoid collecting stains, and is resistant to chipping and wear. The lower appliance is also retained using implants but the material used was only acylic, the same material used to make a denture. Acylic can wear over time, collect stain (as seen below) and even could crack and fracture if a strong improper force is applied to the appliance (ie. biting into a fork).
Recently, a friend of mine fell and knocked out his two front teeth. Unfortunately, when the teeth came out, so did a huge piece of his bone. Even after bone grafting repair, we were not going to get a 100% esthetic result. He was presented with two treatment options: Titanium Dental Implants vs. Cemented Fixed Bridge.
Two dental implants were placed to the best positon based upon what we had to work with. He was given a removable appliance to wear until the implants could heal and be restored. After four months, final impressions were taken and sent to a local ceramic lab. A two implant bridge was custom fabricated to fill the bone defect as well as provide for optimal esthetic final crowns. Working with the right ceramist can achieve results seen below. Now we have to convince him to fixed the chipped tooth on the bottom!
Implants can help secure loose appliances using little snaps. Patients that wear dentures get frustrated because they are unable to eat steak and are forced to eat softer foods. The lower requires two or four implants while the upper requires four implants if the patient wants to keep the plastic covering the palate and five to six implants if the patient would like to use a horseshoe shaped appliance (without the palate).
Little Nylon snaps hold the appliance secure. These attachments do come in different retentive strengths. The clear ones highlighted on the sample model have the best retention.
What determines the success rate for a dental implant? Healthier patients tend to heal better in general. Smokers, uncontrolled Diabetics, malnutrition, and Osteoporosis are only relative contraindications to being a good dental implant candidate. Titanium has stood the test of time to be the best material that bone can integrate to. Over the years, implant companies have added different type of surfaces on the implant to allow implants to heal even more predictably and makes pre-loading with a temporary possible.
Our dental surgeon places the implant(s) with the restoration in mind. Properly angled implants make it easier to restore an implant and help to ensure the optimal esthetic result. Engle Dentistry works with only select dental laboratories that specialize in working with implants. This enables our Doctors to restore your implant to maximum esthetics and proper function.
Working with the right dental team can help ensure a better long-term success rate and happiness with your implant. Feel free to schedule an appointment to determine if you are a candidate to smile and chew your food properly again.
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