Missing permanent teeth can be embarrassing, but it no longer has to deter you from showing off a beautiful smile in Northern Colorado! Dental implants are small posts placed beneath the gum to work as the roots of missing teeth. A crown (also called an artificial tooth or prosthesis), is then fitted to match your teeth and mouth structure to improve your smile. An implant can replace one tooth or multiple teeth for a full, healthy smile that looks and feels perfectly natural. Dental implants are changing the way people live. They are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth which look, feel and function like natural teeth. A person who has lost teeth regains their ability to eat virtually anything, knowing that teeth appear natural and that facial contours will be preserved. Patients with dental implants can smile with full confidence.
You may be a good candidate for dental implants if:
- You are missing one or more tooth.
- Your jaw bone has reached its full growth.
- Your gums and bones are healthy.
- You cannot or will not wear dentures.
- You want to improve your ability to speak and eat.
- You do not have any health conditions that might affect the bone healing process.
What are Dental Implants?
The dental implants themselves are tiny posts, usually made of titanium, which are inserted into the jawbone where the teeth are missing. These metal anchors act as tooth root replacements. They surgically implanted into the jawbone where the bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong mounting point for prosthetic teeth. Implants also help preserve your facial structure, preventing bone deterioration that often occurs when teeth are missing for a long period of time.
Why Should I Get Dental Implants?
Dental implants can have real health benefits in addition to the mental well-being and self confidence that goes with having a beautiful smile. Dental implants can prevent bone wear and degeneration that typically occurs when teeth are missing for an extended period of time. Moreover, they can correct your “bite” and jaw alignment, preventing head and mussel aches.
About The Implant Procedure
For most patients, the placement of dental implants involves two surgical procedures. First, implants are placed within your jawbone. For the first three to six months following surgery, the implants are beneath the surface of the gums gradually bonding with the jawbone. At the same time, we will be forming new replacement teeth. After the implant has properly bonded to your jawbone, we will uncover the implants and attach small titanium posts which will act as the anchor for your artificial teeth. These posts extend through your gums, but when the artificial teeth are placed the posts will not be visible. The entire tooth implant procedure generally takes about six to eight months, during which most patients experience minimal disruption to their daily lives.
What Types of Prosthetic Teeth Can I Get?
A single prosthetic tooth is used to replace one missing tooth. Each prosthetic tooth attaches to its own implant. A partial prosthesis or bridge can replace two or more teeth. This may require only two or three implants, depending on your specific circumstances. A complete dental prosthesis is available which replaces all the teeth in your upper or lower jaw. The number of implants varies depending upon which type of complete prosthesis is best suited for you. A removable prosthesis is also available which attaches to a bar or ball in socket-type implants. Normally a prosthetic tooth is only removable by a dentist. As the name suggests, however, a removable prosthetic device can be removed by the patient at any time.
Why Would I Select Dental Implants Over More Traditional Types of Restoration?
There are a number of reasons: In bridging a gap in your teeth traditional methods often sacrifice good teeth in the vicinity of the gap to anchor the prosthesis. This is completely avoidable with modern implant technologies. For some, removing a denture at night may be inconvenient, not to mention that dentures that slip can be uncomfortable and rather embarrassing. Traditional methods of ‘filling in gaps’ are focused mostly on an aesthetic goal: that being to give one the ‘appearance’ of having normal and natural teeth. Modern implants can actually stop bone degeneration, and for all intents and purposes ‘are’ normal teeth. There is not any additional special care required for implants save maintaining good oral hygiene as you normally would.
Am I a Good Candidate for Implants?
If you are considering implants, your mouth must be examined thoroughly and your medical and dental history reviewed by our specialists. If you mouth is not ideal for implants right away, The Smile Department – Ault can make recommendations for ways to improve your readiness, such as bone grafts.
A dental crown is a tooth-shaped “cap” that fits over the entire top of a damaged tooth, strengthening the tooth just above the gum line. It is a fixed oral prosthetic device which is cemented to an existing tooth or to a dental implant. Once a dental crown is placed, the crown can restore a tooth’s natural looking appearance.
Do I Need a Dental Crown?
The Smile Department – Ault may recommend a Dental Crown for your good oral care. There are several reasons this may be the case:
- Cover a tooth that has had a root canal (endodontically treated tooth)
- Protect a weak tooth from fracturing
- Restore an already fractured tooth
- Seal a sensitive tooth
- Restore a tooth that has been severely worn down
- Cover a large filling when there is not enough tooth structure
- Attach (affix) a dental bridge in place
- Cover misshaped or severely discolored teeth
- Cover a dental implant
- Cosmetic Enhancement
There are many different types of dental crowns and we can help you with them all. Permanent Crowns may be made of 100% resin, ceramic material, precious and/or semi-precious metals, porcelain, and porcelain fused to metal (PFM). The most popular dental crowns are the Ceramic and the PFM crowns. Porcelain crowns are made to match the shape, size, and color of your teeth, giving you a natural, long-lasting beautiful smile.
The 100% porcelain and ceramic dental crowns can be color matched to your adjacent teeth, thereby providing you the best natural color match. Typical matches using this this type of crown material offers a better match than any other type crown. The “all ceramic” crowns are a good choice for front teeth, while the porcelain crowns are a better choice for front or back teeth. Both the porcelain and ceramic crowns are metal free; they may be more suitable for dental patients with metal allergies, or sensitivity issues.
The “all resin” dental crown wears down more quickly than others. These dental crowns are also more prone to fractures than the Porcelain Fused to Metal. Depending on you and your dental habits, using the all-ceramic dental crown may not be your first choice. Check with The Smile Department – Ault to find out which type of dental crown is best suited for you.
The color of Porcelain Fused to Metal dental crown can be matched to nearly perfectly to your adjacent teeth. The PFM crowns can be an excellent choice for both front and/or back teeth. The PFM crowns are stronger, more durable, than any of the all-porcelain or all-ceramic dental crowns.
The type of metals that are used in constructing your crown may consist of what is called ‘noble’ or ‘base’ metals. These noble metals are gold and/or palladium and the base metals may include nickel or chromium. With the 100% metal crowns, less tooth structure needs to be removed to provide a strong structure for the crown to attach to. The metal crowns rarely chip or break. The Metal crowns are a great choice for your molar teeth, regardless of upper or lower proximity.
Crowns are highly durable and oftentimes they last a lifetime, but like most dental restorations, they may eventually need to be replaced. The average dental crown lasts between 5 and 15 years.
Everyone’s situation is unique. To discuss these options and more, please call The Smile Department – Ault today at (970) 834-2058