What are Dental Implants?
A dental implant at our Clear Lake dentist office is essentially a titanium post that mimics a natural tooth root. It’s surgically placed in the bone in the area of a missing tooth. The implant functions as the root of a tooth and is used as an anchor to attach a crown, dental bridge, or denture.
There are a few different scenarios in which placing one of more dental implants is a good option for people with missing teeth.
Single Tooth Dental Implants
Traditionally, if you’re missing one tooth, we’d replace it with a dental bridge, which is a connection of three crowns. To make this bridge we would have to reduce the thickness of the tooth in front of and behind the missing one. Doing so allows for enough room to anchor the bridge to your teeth without being too bulky. Oftentimes, there’s nothing wrong with either of these teeth, so placing a bridge may seem a bit invasive and unnecessary.
Since implants have evolved over the years, they have become the go-to solution for single tooth replacement options. Since you don’t have to incorporate other teeth for this minimally-invasive treatment to be performed, it’s the healthier option.
First, we place the actual implant post into the jaw bone where it will be flush with the gum. Over a period of several weeks the bone will grow and fuse tightly to the implant. During this waiting period you can choose to go without a tooth (if it’s in the back of your mouth,) or we can make you a removable device like a flipper to wear in the meantime.
Once the bone and implant have integrated fully, we’ll make a crown for your implant. The interior part of the implant is hollow so we’ll insert a special kind of post known as an abutment to the inside. This piece will protrude out of the gum and the crown will be attached to it by torque force or with a special bonding/cement agent.
If you’re missing three or more teeth in the same area, then we can place an implant bridge rather than individual implants or having you wear a partial denture. This option will be more economical and works just as well. To create a three unit (tooth) bridge we’ll place one implant in the outermost parts of the missing tooth space and then fit a longer bridge to fill in the space completely. Two implants can be used for replacing 3-4 teeth in most cases.
If you’re missing all of your teeth but don’t want to wear a regular denture, and don’t qualify for single implants or dental bridge implants because of how many teeth are missing, then an implant denture is a great solution. All-on-four implant dentures and snap-on overdentures are the most popular choices for full arch implant treatments.
For this treatment our Clear Lake dentist will strategically place four or more implants throughout the arch and an attachment at each one, which serves as a foundation for your denture. We’ll make you a special denture (or retrofit your current one) with washers inside of it that line up with the implant attachments. To insert your denture, you’ll snap it into place.
Overdentures are removable but they stay in place much more securely than traditional dentures. You won’t need adhesive strips or messy pastes to help your denture feel comfortable throughout the day.
If you want to go one step further and have a denture that doesn’t need to be removed, then All-on-Four implants are what you’ll want. For this restoration, we’ll place four implants throughout the arch and make you a bridge-type hybrid denture that aligns with the implants. It’s almost like an extended dental bridge, but a bit wider (nowhere near as large as a traditional denture.) Our Clear Lake dentist will secure the bridge in place with special attachments. Once in place, your All-on-4 implant system is secure and can only be removed by a dentist.
Where To Get Dental Implants in Clear Lake, TX
If you’re missing one or more teeth and would like to see if dental implants are an option for you, then call our Clear Lake, TX general dentist at Rosas Family Dentistry. We’ll gladly see you for a consultation and take the appropriate X-rays to determine which implant treatment is best for you.
Our practice serves the League City, Webster, Seabrook, Friendswood, Kemah, and NASA areas and we’re ready and available to cater to your dental needs. Call to schedule your appointment today. We look forward to meeting you.