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What are dental implants?

A dental implant is a synthetic “root” which is literally implanted permanently, within the space where the natural tooth once lived. The root resembles a screw or rod. A custom-made artificial tooth is then affixed to the screw, creating a stable and natural-looking replacement for the lost tooth. A dental implant can slow the process of aging in the jaw, and it offers far more comfort than partial dentures. The problem of gum shrinkage, irritation, and changes in speech are eliminated with the use of dental implants.

What are the advantages to dental implants?

One significant advantage is that dental implants do not put strain on the surrounding teeth, especially when compared to bridges. Dental implants have been a common procedure for decades, so the technology is now streamlined with a minimum of stress to the patient. The results of these teeth implants are impressive, most often restoring lost confidence and self-esteem. By virtue of the permanency of the implant, the dental implant procedure is the most similar to having one’s natural teeth.

What is the process of dental implants?

Part of the reason that dental implants are such a preferred choice of treatment is that the dentist’s implant screw or rod is given time to fuse to the bone structure of the patient’s gum, a procedure known as osseointegration. Successful osseointegration is the fundamental part of feeling as though your tooth has returned. Upon implanting the titanium screw, a protective cover is placed over the dental implant until the fusing process is complete. The process of osseointegration does take anywhere from three to six months.  Once osseointegration takes place, a temporary crown is placed over the screw, allowing that area of the gum to form naturally to accommodate the final custom crown. This new “tooth” implant will match your natural teeth in color and texture and size.

Would I be a good candidate for dental implants?

You should always consult a dental professional for an individual recommendation as to any care or procedures for your teeth. Your dental professional will explain to you the time, cost, risks and likelihood of success of a dental implant procedure.  In general, however, an ideal candidate for dental implants is someone in good overall health. Other factors in favor of a successful dental implant candidate are healthy gums, sufficient bone for the fusing to take place, and a commitment to continuing good care and aftercare.

Individuals who may not likely be good candidates are those who have suppressed immune systems, chronic medical conditions, younger persons whose jaws are still developing, pregnant women, smokers, and people who have a chronic problem with teeth-grinding. Again, a full evaluation by a dentist would be necessary in order to assess the extent of suitability of a patient.

What is the after-care of dental implants like?

Naturally, once you have your new tooth, you will want to care for it as you would your other teeth. Good aftercare is extremely important. Regular brushing and flossing are necessary to prevent plaque build-up and irritation. You will be given special brushes to make sure you reach the areas of the tooth. Regular check-ups with your dental professional will also be part of your aftercare.
An important decision….
Dental implants are a significant investment in both health and self-esteem. Protecting your oral health is foremost, but a wonderful benefit is the confidence you feel when you flash that “winning” smile.

What are mini implants?  

Mini dental implants are ultra-small diameter – about l.8 millimeter width – that have been designed more than 20 years ago by a dentist, Victor I. Sendax. Dr. Sendax made the mini dental implants to serve as a transitional device to help support fixed bridge replacements for lost teeth. His theory was that mini implants could function free standing by themselves or in combination with natural tooth supports and/or regular dental implants.

Late in l997, Dr. Sendax collaborated about his mini implant theory and design concepts with a colleague, Dr. Ronald A. Bulard. Dr. Bulard had previously formed a dental implant company that was manufacturing and marketing standard dental products including regular dental implants.

Both doctors spend lots of time studying and fixing the original design till they came up with a more efficient top and collar to the mini dental implants. Once combined with the original insertion design, the mini dental implant was done.

After Dr. Bulard dental company manufactured the mini dental implants they were finally introduced to the United States dental community at an implant conference in Orlando, Florida in April, l999. The mini dental implants were apparently a great hit with the dental products industry.

So what do mini implants ”do” exactly? For once their most effective use of this is stabilization of a lower denture of a patient. It has been estimated that there are approximately 50,000,000 people in the United States who are toothless and have a hard time getting used to, and using, their prosthetic devices. Problems like dentures that don’t fill well, or dentures not working properly while chewing, are quite common. Lots of people who wear dentures tend to stop socializing as well because of the aesthetic reasons. Other problems such as bad breath are common. This is why a successful placement of the mini dental implant can help to relieve people of all these problems.

Mini Dental Implants are narrow enough that they can be typically inserted directly through the overlying gum tissue and right into the bone underneath it. Unlike with standard dental implants there’s no reason to surgically cut and "flap" open the gum tissue with mini dental implants. One of the biggest benefits is reduced irritation and discomfort that occurs sometimes after dental implant surgery. While all dental implants require care during insertion to avoid encroaching on vulnerable nerve, sinus or bony structures, the ultra small width of the mini implants are much more safe because of their ultimate size.

What is the cost of dental implants?

The number of implants used for a given restoration is most important in terms of the success of the restoration, not the overall fee and dentists have begun to start charging patients according to the complexity of the dental implant procedure. According to dental practitioners it is much more cost effective when the same dentist both places and restores a patient’s teeth although this is not always possible.

There’s a belief that in the future dental implants will be incorporated into the scope of general practice and implants will be not only much more widespread in their use, but much more cost effective for the patients who need them.

So what happens after you decide to have a dental implant?

* The dental implant will replace one or more teeth without affecting bordering teeth.
* Your dental implant (s) will support a bridge and eliminate the need for a removable partial denture.
* Additionally, your dental implant (s) will provide support for a denture, making it more secure and comfortable.

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