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Tooth replacement has been practiced for centuries, but in 1965, an entirely new way to restore the smile was born. In the past few decades, dental implants have quickly become the new gold standard for prosthetic teeth, offering a stability and numerous health benefits that you can’t receive from traditional bridges or dentures. Here at Little Rock Family Dental Care, we can handle both the placement and restoration of dental implants; in Little Rock, AR get in touch with us today to set up an initial consultation to determine whether this treatment is right for you.
It’s inaccurate to say that a dental implant itself replaces a tooth; that job actually falls to a crown, a bridge, or a denture that is eventually placed on the implant. The implant itself – which can be cylindrical or shaped like a screw – is closer in function to a tooth root, securing the restoration to the jaw and providing the bone with essential stimulation to prevent it from breaking down. A device called an abutment is used to link the implant and restoration together.
Implant surgery is just one of several options for tooth replacement; to decide whether it’s the right choice for you, we need to take X-rays of your mouth and consider your oral health history. As long as you’re not suffering from excessive bone loss or gum disease, you are likely a viable candidate for the procedure. The number of implants placed and the process itself will vary depending on how many teeth you’ve lost.
The implant process requires multiple appointments. Once the placement surgery is performed, you’ll need to wait at home for a few months for the bone to heal around the post. Then, an abutment is placed on top of the implant, and you can be fitted for a crown that matches the nearby teeth in size and color.
While teeth can be replaced one at a time with individual implants and restorations, there’s a better way to fill in the space left by multiple adjacent teeth all at once. A dental bridge made of two crowns and prosthetic teeth can be anchored in place using just two implant posts.
Normally, dentures only rely on the natural suction between their acrylic base and your gums in order to stay in place without slipping. Eventually, though, the shape of your mouth will change, and traditional dentures won’t fit as well as they used to. You can avoid this issue with a full arch of false teeth supported by four or more implants.
It takes as little as four to six implants to support an entire arch of teeth. Limiting the number of posts used tends to simplify the dental implant process and reduces the healing time required. As a result, we can place the permanent dentures much sooner, meaning you won’t have to wait as long for new teeth. Thanks to the unique techniques used for the All-on-4 and All-on-6 procedures, it’s often possible to place temporary dentures on the same day as the surgery.
One of the advantages of having so many specialists at Little Rock Family Dental Care is that we can meet all of your needs under one roof. Instead of referring you to a different dental office to have a stranger perform the implant surgery, you can receive an expertly placed implant post from one of our in-house oral surgeons; after that, we’ll also handle the process of designing the custom-fitted, lifelike dental restoration that fills in for the visible portion of your original tooth.
Before you commit to getting dental implants, it’s important that you fully understand the kind of investment you’re making. Implants have a higher price point than traditional dentures or bridges; however, because of their long lifespan, they can end up saving you money. The overall cost of the procedure will be determined at your consultation; we need to decide how many posts are needed and take any additional procedures that might be necessary into account.