For full or partial dental restoration, dental implants are some of the very best solutions a dentist can offer. Restoring a single missing tooth, a few teeth, or even a complete set of teeth with permanent, durable, and attractive replacements is easier than ever. At Augustine Dental, we are proud to offer dentures in Austin, TX that will improve a patient’s self-confidence, speech, facial contours, bite alignment, and nutrition.
Great dentist and staff! They are on time and I’m in and out quickly. I don’t even dread going since they are honest and friendly and don’t do unnecessary procedures. They file my insurance and make it easy for me. – Linda R., Austin, TX
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are titanium supports that are fixed to the bone of a patient’s jaw, creating a strong and permanent fixture upon which to secure a natural-looking artificial tooth. A dentist surgically places a titanium implant directly into the jawbone, which is allowed to heal and fuse to the bone itself. Not only does this create the foundation for the longest-lasting dental replacement available, but it also helps to protect this bone from wearing down over time. Missing teeth inevitably causes slow deterioration of the jawbone, which can lead to a host of bigger health issues. Without normal stress on the jawbone from regular dental activity, the bone is not stimulated to regenerate. The consequential deterioration of the jaw bone can lead to issues with speech, structural facial changes, and problems chewing and eating, which can in-turn result in poor nutrition.
In the event that the jaw bone has a lot of wear and deterioration (usually from a tooth that has been missing for a long time), there are options to improve the anchoring strength of the implant to the bone. Bone grafting is a solution that a dentist can use to restore and strengthen deteriorated bone to stabilize a future implant. Even for a healthy jawbone, a dental implant can be protective for the future. Unlike some other dental restoration techniques, not only can implants strengthen the bone beneath a missing tooth, but they won’t damage or put at-risk surrounding healthy teeth.
After the implant has completely healed and fused with the jaw, the dental implant is completed with the addition of a crown. During this step, the dentist bonds a final crown made of durable, natural-looking materials that are essentially indistinguishable from natural teeth to the implant. Once finalized, dental implants should feel just like natural teeth, representing an advantage over removable dentures.
Who Can Benefit from Dental Implants?
For individuals with a single missing tooth, dental implants present a permanent and effective solution. For those with multi- or full dental loss, implants can be life changing. Missing teeth can lead to problems with speech, poor nutrition from an inability to chew properly, lowered self-esteem, and more. Even for those who choose to opt for removable dentures, implant supports can offer superior fit and stability, preventing wobbling or shifting of dentures throughout the day. In some cases, existing dentures can even be fitted to implant supports, saving patients time and money.
To determine if dental implants are right for you, as well as what type of implants will best support your needs and lifestyle, scheduling an initial dental exam will allow for the necessary x-rays and evaluation, as well as discussion of the procedure itself, the timeline, and instructions.
What Types of Dental Implants Exist?
Permanent Dental Replacement
Implants enable a dentist to replace one, multiple, or even a full set of teeth permanently. For the replacement of a single tooth, a dentist places a single implant and crown as described above. For multiple teeth, you may not even require an implant for every single replaced tooth! Using bridgework techniques, a dentist can permanently replace three teeth using only two implants – one on each side with no implant in the middle. In fact, an entire arch of replacement teeth can be supported by as few as four implants, depending on the health of the underlying jaw bone.
Implants aren’t only for permanent tooth replacement. In fact, they can support and stabilize dentures to enhance their fit and stability. Implant supported dentures are a minimally-invasive solution to the issue of wobbly dentures; a complete lower arch set of removable dentures may only require two implants.
A common issue with dentures is their tendency to move around in the mouth, especially when chewing or speaking. But by securing dentures to implant supports, a dentist can functionally eliminate wobbling or shifting dentures, which can significantly improve a patient’s experience and quality of life. Our patients seeking dentures in Austin, TX are typically thrilled with the results from their implant-supported models, which offer great stability, confidence, and security.
Dental implants can truly change lives. By restoring missing or damaged teeth, we can improve a patient’s jaw and bite alignment, restore the facial structure, improve speech, and enable individuals to enjoy their favorite foods again. Following the completion of dental implant procedures, most patients require only NSAIDs (such as ibuprofen), and discomfort typically resolves within a few days. With proper maintenance, dental implants can last a lifetime. The best way to care for dental implants is the same maintenance for natural teeth: diligent, daily brushing and flossing, along with regular dental exams with your Austin dentist.