Dr. Shapard participated in a year residency, AEGD, Advanced Esthetic and General Dentistry, and during that time gained valuable knowledge to place and restore implants. Because of this, he is able to place most implants in his office and not have to refer to an Oral Surgeon, saving you valuable time and money.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants offer people an alternative to the traditional ways of replacing missing teeth. The actual implant is an artificial root [anchor] made from synthetic material, usually titanium metal. There are three phases to the implant process.
First, the dental implant is surgically placed into the jawbone. It takes 3-6 months to fuse with the bone [called osseointegration]. An abutment [post] is attached to the implant and protrudes above the gum tissue. A replacement restoration is cemented or screwed to the implant abutment. Depending on the situation, dental implants can support a fixed crown or bridge or act as a stabilizing base for a full denture. The procedure can take up to 9-12 months for completion and has a high degree of success.
Some individuals have had so much bone resorption [loss] that the remaining bony ridge is too thin to hold an implant. In many cases, synthetic or natural bone can be grafted [added] or grown to allow for dental implants as an alternative treatment.
Implants have a great advantage for people already wearing full dentures since they can support and stabilize the denture while minimizing further bone loss of the denture ridge.
Not everyone is a good candidate for dental implants. There are certain risk factors that may limit success including smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, chronic bruxism [grinding teeth], systemic problems such as diabetes and individuals with poor oral hygiene.
Dental implants offer a "second chance" to those who have lost all of their teeth. For people missing only one or several teeth, dental implants provide benefits as an alternative way to restore your mouth. To determine if implants are for you, a clinical examination, x-rays, study casts and other appropriate records and measurements will be necessary. Call our office if you have questions or would like to schedule an implant exam.
Considering Dental Implants?
Important Facts to Help Make Your Decision
Many people are unaware of the consequences of losing their teeth or the effects of wearing partial or full dentures upon their jaws and bones. When teeth are lost, the surrounding bone immediately begins to shrink [atrophy]. Implant treatment, for tooth replacement therapy, can be the optimal treatment plan. Here are some important facts to take into consideration.
• Wearing dentures [plates] accelerates bone loss, and old dentures become loose because of this bone loss. It is possible to watch and wait for bone to disappear to the point where treatment success of any kind is in doubt.
• At the end of a five-year period, only 40% are still wearing the original partial denture made for them. This is not a great testimonial for value and utility. Those lucky enough to have a functioning partial denture after 5 years are still losing valuable supporting bone.
• Of those patients who wear a partial denture, 50% chew better without it.
• One study showed that after 8 years, 40% of the supporting teeth [abutments] that the partial hooks onto were lost through tooth decay or fracture.
• Patients with natural teeth can bite with about 200 pounds of force. Denture wearers can bite with approxiametly 50 pounds of force. Those wearing dentures for 15 years or more can bite with only about 6 pounds of force, and their diet and eating habits have had to been modified accordingly.
• The average lower full denture shifts from side to side during chewing and is a significant problem that new denture wearers must get use to and accept.
• Denture wearers have decreased nutritional intake, a ten year shorter life span, and 30% of denture wearers can only eat soft foods.
• The single tooth implant success rate is above 98%, and unlike a bridge, the teeth adjacent to the implant are no more at risk than if no teeth were missing.
• Implant-supported bridges or dentures have 95% success rates over 10 years without the severe loss of supporting bone.
For bone maintenance, the health of adjacent teeth, the longevity of the restoration and patient comfort, implant therapy is the treatment of choice. Implants can restore chewing function to the equivalent of someone with natural teeth. If you have questions or want to know if you are a good candidate for implant tooth replacement therapy, please call our office.