What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants offer a modern solution for missing teeth that restore function, feel, and appearance to your smile. Here at Premier Dental Implants in Louisville, KY, we change lives through the science and surgical practice of dentistry; over years of experience developing skill and perfection for placing and restoring various styles of implants; we don’t just change smiles – we change lives!

To start your journey with dental implants, give our office a call today! We can arrange a private consultation at no cost to you.

What are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are titanium components that replace the root of the natural tooth while acting as an anchor for a prosthetic crown or other smile appliance (such as a bridge or full-arch restoration). As implants are embedded within the jawbone, they are not only the most stable solution in modern dentistry, but they are also the most natural. 

Using three separate elements to replace the entire structure of a natural tooth, implants are the preferred solution for missing teeth; these pieces are the following:

  • Implant post – The implant post is the foundation of the entire restoration. The post is inserted into the jawbone, and over time fuses to the surrounding bone tissue for ultimate stability.
  • Abutment – Abutments act as a connecting component between the post and the prosthetic. Abutments are usually secured to the implant by attachment with tiny screws, ensuring that the pieces work together to connect the artificial tooth or teeth.
  • Prosthetic appliance – The prosthetic appliance is the aesthetically pleasing element of the implant that sits above the gum line and aids patients in their smile appearance, and function of their mouth. At our practice, we use dental crowns, custom-made bridges, and full dental arches as our prosthetic options.

The Benefits of Dental Implants

Dental implants have a number of advantages over other tooth replacement options. The most notable being its durability and quality of life benefits that can’t be matched by any other tooth-replacement option on the market today. Implants are designed to replace missing teeth, look natural, feel natural, and function naturally.

Below is a list of advantages that come with having dental implants:

  • A lifetime solution – The structural integrity and strength of titanium used in the construction of an implant is greater than that found in natural teeth and bone. This makes them extremely durable and resistant to damage, allowing them to last for decades.
  • Quality of life – Implants restore your ability to eat and speak to the full extent. They also help preserve facial structure and prevent bone deterioration, which is a common side effect of tooth loss.
  • Enhanced appearance – Implant-supported bridges, crowns, and full arch prosthetics mimic natural teeth in both color, size, contour, and shape. These tooth replacements look so good that no one will even notice they are dental appliances (unless you tell them)!
  • Improved self-esteem – Tooth loss has been proven to have a profound negative effect on self-esteem, confidence, and quality of life. A full arch restoration will make you feel better about yourself again and inspire you to live life to the fullest!
  • Practical – Compared to dentures, which need to be removed daily, implants are practical as they remain permanently in place throughout your life – the only element needing to be replaced is the prosthetic every ten to fifteen years!

Who is a Good Candidate?

Dental implants are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth that look, feel, and function like natural teeth. They can be used in place of a single missing tooth, multiple missing teeth, or to secure a full arch of prosthetic teeth. 

Implants are more than just artificial appliances that you wear – they’re a part of your body that integrates with the surrounding bone to provide a strong foundation for replacement teeth. Once they’re put in place, they act just like the roots of your natural teeth. They provide structural support that prevents movement of surrounding teeth, provide facial support for your skin and muscles, allow chewing forces to be distributed evenly over the jawbone, enable proper function of your bite, and give you extremely natural-looking replacement teeth. 

With all these great qualities, you may be wondering if you are a good candidate. Dental implants are shown as being most successful in patients who meet the following criteria:

  • Healthy gum tissue in the absence of gum disease
  • Strong jawbone with little to no deterioration present
  • Responsible enough to implement aftercare instructions diligently
  • Suitable for surgery in terms of medical considerations

Single Dental Implant

A single dental implant is designed to replace a single missing tooth. If you have one missing tooth or multiple missing teeth in different regions of the mouth, this implant would be most appropriate for you. The procedure involves the following steps:

  • We will create a small incision in the gum tissue to access the jawbone.
  • An implant will be placed into the jawbone.
  • The implant post is topped with an abutment.
  • After a healing period of at least three months, a custom-made crown is secured to the abutment.
  • Finally, the procedure is complete.

Implant-Supported Bridges

Implant-supported bridges are suitable options for patients with multiple missing teeth in a sequence. This can be as few as two teeth but can also replace many more. If you are interested in an implant-supported bridge, the following process would be followed:

  • This procedure begins with two implants being placed into the jawbone – one implant on either side of the tooth gap.
  • Once this is complete, the implants are topped with abutments.
  • After a period of healing, a custom-made dental bridge is placed over the abutments.
  • Once all the pieces are connected together, you can enjoy a restored smile.

Full Arch Restoration with All-on-4®

A full arch restoration is complete in our practice by the All-on-4 prosthetic and surgical process. Through this method, patients can replace a full arch (upper or lower) of missing teeth with just four implants and a full, personalized prosthetic. Something certainly unique about this procedure is that it allows patients to leave our office with a brand-new smile in just one day! This surgery is performed as follows:  

  • A total of four implants will be placed along the dental arch – two in the back corners of the mouth and two in the front sections.
  • When the implants have been placed, we will top each of them with abutments.
  • After suturing the gum tissue closed for healing, we will provide a temporary prosthetic appliance that securely attaches to these abutments.
  • Once we have the perfect, permanent full-arch restoration complete, you will revisit our team to have this final component installed to complete the procedure.

A Restoration Made For You!

No matter what your unique needs or interests are in regard to restoring your smile, we have a solution for you with dental implants! As a practice, implant placement, restoration, and maintenance are our specialized areas of expertise – we do this all day, every day, and we do it very well! 

Trust your smile to the experts here at Louisville, KY, and we’ll be happy to see you smile again while feeling great, functioning correctly, and looking better than ever! Our practice is here to serve you, and we have a passion for changing your life through implant dentistry. Call today to schedule your FREE consultation!

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