When your teeth are missing, your life is altered, drastically. You’re suddenly forced to change what and how you eat. Your speech is altered, and you suffer from a loss of confidence. Thankfully, there is something that can be done to restore your life to normal. Your dentist highly recommends dental implants in State College to brighten your future. So that you can educate yourself better before your dental visit, he’ll provide some helpful information about the process.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are surgically inserted posts that are either affixed to your jawbone or just above it. In doing so, they become pseudo-roots and provide greater stability for your entire facial structure.
There are two main types of implants:
- Endosteal – These dental implants come the closest to mimicking your natural roots because they are placed in the jawbone. They will typically be made of titanium – a biocompatible material that fuses with your bone cells. The titanium posts are made with screws that allow them to be attached to your jawbone.
- Subperiosteal – For patients who lack sufficient bone to perform the normal dental implant procedure, the subperiosteal method is a possible option. These implants are placed under the gum but on, or above, the jawbone.
Other Options Available if You’re Lacking Bone Mass
If you’re lacking sufficient jawbone and decide that you still want the sturdier endosteal type of implant, your dentist has a few options:
- Bone Augmentation – The human body has an amazing ability to regenerate bone, but sometimes it needs a little encouragement to do that. Thus, the bone augmentation process serves as a way to accomplish this by your dentist building somewhat of a frame around the area that needs to grow.
- Sinus Lift – This process involves adding bone beneath the sinus in cases where natural bone has deteriorated due to missing upper back teeth.
- Ridge Expansion – In certain situations, the jaw isn’t wide enough to support dental implants. Thus, bone graft material (healthy bone taken from another part of your body or created by a trusted lab) may be added to a small ridge (or space) created along the top of your jaw.
The Value of 3D Imaging
Before any of the above is done, your dentist in State College will be able to plan your treatment process using 3D digital imaging. Thus, there will be no guesswork, making the process more precise and usually faster. As a result of this level of precision, you can expect to save money while regaining the way of life you’ve been without for so long.
To learn more, feel free to reach out to your local dentist to schedule a consultation.
About the Author
A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine, Dr. Chris J. Devlin has nearly three decades of experience practicing dentistry. To aid him in delivering the absolute best care to his patients, he is also affiliated with the Dawson Academy, the Pankey Institute and the Society of Dental Anesthesiology. Dr. Devlin restores smiles and confidence at his private practice and can be reached for more information through his website.