Dental Implant Technology in 2017
If you are embarrassed of your smile because of missing, misshapen, or decaying teeth,
you are a candidate for dental implants.
The truth is, 69 percent of adults, ages 35 to 44, have lost at least one permanent tooth due to an accident, tooth decay, failed operation, etc. And if you fall into this category, we at South Charlotte Dentistry can help.
Our highly trained and professional staff has been fixing smiles for years. We use the most up-to-date technology to provide you with implants that will last, and depending on how many implants you need, we can have your new smile completed within one visit.
WHAT ARE DENTAL IMPLANTS AND HOW ARE THEY ATTACHED?
Did you know that missing teeth can actually cause the jaw to change shape? That’s right, when a tooth is missing there are no nutrients going to the area of the jaw where the tooth once was. This causes the jawbone to slowly move and morph into a position so that it can get the nutrients needed. This is why dental implants are so important, because not only do they replace missing teeth, they keep the jawbone secured and healthy just as natural teeth do.
- Dental implants align with your natural teeth so well it is nearly impossible to tell they are actually a form of prosthesis.
- In fact, it is difficult to tell which teeth are real and which are implants. This is because the implants are deeply connected to the jaw.
- Whereas natural teeth are rooted into the bone much like a tree is into the ground, dental implants are attached by screws.
- Technically, there is a screw with a fake tooth on top of it drilled into the mouth. Sounds scary, but really it is not.
- First, and most importantly, the patient meets with the dentist to determine if they are a fit candidate for the procedure by taking and looking over x-rays. During this meeting the dentist will also discuss how many implants are needed.
- While the procedure takes place, the implants are surgically attached to the jawbone. And though this sounds painful, the patient doesn’t feel a thing due to general or local anesthesia.
- After the implants are in, it’s time to let them heal. And while they are healing, your implants begin to osseointegrate, which means they begin to fuse together with your jawbone to form a long-lasting foundation for the replacement teeth.
- This healing process can take anywhere from weeks to months, during which time the patient goes about his or her everyday life as normal. Once the implanted screws have fully adhered to the jawbone, a follow-up appointment is set in order to attach the new teeth using what is called an abutment. Every implant is double-checked to make sure it is sound and secure, and the procedure is then complete.
AN EVOLUTION OF THE IMPLANT.
Luckily, today we have incredible technology used for implanting, which makes this procedure fast and efficient. But it hasn’t always been this way. For hundreds of years, people having been remedying tooth loss by inserting foreign materials into the jawbone. Looking as far back as 600 A.D., archeologists have found that the Mayans used seashells and carved stones to replace missing teeth. Imagine that!
Fast forward to the early 1950s, and dentists discovered that titanium metal will actually bond with living tissue. Titanium’s ability to bond, plus the fact that it is incredibly durable, caused this discovery to drastically advance dental implants. And slowly, throughout the years, dentists began to build on this discovery.
- First, only individual teeth were replaced. And dentists realized that threading the titanium, much like a screw is threaded, and drilling it into the jawbone is the best way for the implants to remain intact for a long period of time, if not forever.
- Next, the “All-on-4” technique was coined, which enabled dentists to replace entire rows of teeth rather than simply working with one at a time. The “All-on-4” procedure affixes up to an entire row of teeth to only four strategically placed implants. This works because the titanium metal that is used as an implant is so strong, it can easily support multiple teeth. This saves time and money.
You can literally walk into your implant appointment with multiple missing teeth and walk out a short time later with a complete smile. We sure have come a long way from using seashells!
Already in 2017, we are seeing new improvements with dental implants. For example, the company Magdent has created a miniaturized electronic device (MED), which is embedded into the abutment (the piece that connects the titanium implant to the new tooth). This tiny device speeds the healing process of dental implants up to three times faster by creating an electromagnetic field between the implant and surrounding bone graft.
In animal studies, using an MED not only encouraged faster growth, it actually caused the bone tissue to grow more densely than normal. This is great news for older patients, or anyone who has poor bone density, because not only is the patient receiving a bright new smile, she is also rejuvenating bone tissue.
Another advancement in technology is what’s called the ICAT Machine. The ICAT is an x-ray machine that moves around the skull of the patient in order to create a three-dimensional image of the mouth.
The ICAT then sends the image to the dentist’s computer so the he can get a better (than what a normal x-ray machine could ever provide) view of the dental area. This is important because the dental implant procedure completely depends on how many teeth are shown to be replaced. And the clearer the x-ray, the better the dentist can diagnose the implants.
In addition to providing a three-dimensional image of the mouth, the ICAT also uses considerably less radiation than a regular x-ray machine, making it a much safer process of photographing the patient’s mouth.
THREE SIGNS YOU NEED DENTAL IMPLANTS.
You know consulting with a dentist is the first step towards receiving implants, but how can you be sure you are even a candidate for the procedure? Here are three signs showing you need to schedule that consulting appointment:
- You are insecure of your smile due to missing teeth. No matter the reason for the missing teeth (or tooth), if you find yourself hiding your smile, this is an indicator that you should consider dental implants.
- You avoid eating certain foods because it hurts when you chew them. The pain you feel when eating your favorite food could be due to dead, decaying, or infected teeth. And you don’t have to continue living this way. After consulting with your dentist you could find that the teeth need pulled and replaced with dental implants.
- You currently have dentures or dental bridges and are tired of the continual maintenance and discomfort. Yes, even you are a candidate for implants. Imagine not having to clean your dentures anymore, or never having to schedule monthly appointments to have your dental bridge readjusted!
If any of these apply to you,
make an appointment with
South Charlotte Dentistry now.
It really is amazing the confidence and joy a beautiful smile can bring. And at South Charlotte Dentistry, the process of restoring your smile is simple:
- After the diagnosis is made from the consultation, the surgery date is set and completed (usually in just one visit).
- Time is allowed for the mouth to heal, in which case temporary teeth can be applied until your mouth is ready for the permanents.
- Then, once the healing is complete, your new teeth are inserted and the implant procedure is complete.
Make your appointment with South Charlotte Dentistry today,
and take the first step towards a brighter, more confident smile.
7741 Ballantyne Commons Pkwy, Suite 102
Charlotte, NC 28277