Dental implants are used to replace the roots of missing teeth. Traditional titanium implant posts closely resemble a typical screw. Once inserted, the jawbone fuses with the titanium post; therefore, implants will not slip or make odd noises the way that dentures do. Dental implants in Tulsa, OK, can be used to replace one tooth, several teeth or an entire set of missing teeth.
As chewing stimulates the root, the tooth’s root stimulates the bone and remineralization occurs. Remineralization ensures that the bone is continually replacing the minerals that are naturally lost.
Once a tooth is extracted, the root is no longer present to stimulate the bone; therefore, the body begins to reabsorb it. In the first year following a tooth extraction, approximately 25 percent of the bone is resorbed. This bone resorption can lead to significant changes in the structure of the face. Since traditional removable dentures sit on top of the gum, these dental appliances are unable to stimulate the jawbone the way that dental implants can. Lack of stimulation and bone resorption cause the bone to soften, and deteriorate. Patients with this problem can either have a bone graft performed or choose subperiosteal implants instead of endosteal implants.
The endosteal dental implants are the most common type of implant used. They usually consist of titanium, are shaped like a screw and are inserted into the jawbone. Although subperiosteal dental implants are placed beneath the gum, they rest on or above the jawbone. These implants are frequently used for patients who have an inadequate amount of bone and still want implants, but do not want to have a bone graft performed.
Some patients may be candidates for mini implants. These implants are perfect for replacing smaller teeth in areas where a full-sized prosthetic tooth will not fit. The mini dental implant rods are about the width of a standard toothpick and the mini implants are about half the width of traditional dental implants.
You may be a good candidate for dental implants in Tulsa, OK, if you:
An incision is created in the gum tissue at the locations where the dental implants will be placed. Once the bone is exposed, holes can be drilled in the areas where the posts will be inserted. Since your posts will serve as the root of your tooth, they are inserted deep in your bone. Your surgeon may attach healing abutments to the top of your implants and then attach temporary crowns to these abutments. Some surgeons do not use healing abutments and instead give their patients a removable prosthesis to wear until their permanent crowns and abutments are placed.
After your dental implants are in place, the jawbone begins to integrate with their surfaces. This integration process is referred to as osseointegration. The osseointegration process can take several months.
Once the osseointegration process is complete, your surgeon can remove the healing abutment and attach the permanent abutment to the implant. If a healing abutment was not used, an additional surgery is necessary; however, it is minor and only requires local anesthesia. During this procedure, the gum above the implant is opened, the abutment is attached to the top of the implant and the gum is closed around, but not over the abutment. The permanent crown encases the abutment, and they are attached to one another using an extremely strong cement.