When a patient is missing teeth, dental implants are considered the best available option to restore his or her smile. Dr. Bruno Lemay of Desert Dental Alternatives offers comprehensive dental implants services to patients at his Palm Springs, CA-area practice. If you have suffered from tooth loss and would like to learn more about this advanced restorative treatment, contact our office today to schedule an appointment.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are titanium tooth "roots" that are used to replace missing natural roots. Once in place, they become firmly attached to the bone. After they are solidly affixed to the bone (this process is called "Osseointegration"), an artificial tooth is attached to the implant.
Who Can Benefit from Dental Implants?
Anyone with missing teeth. Dental implants can be used to replace single or multiple missing teeth. They are also of great help for people who wear dentures.
How Long Have Dental Implants Been Used?
Dental scientists have been experimenting with methods of restoring missing teeth with "permanent artificial replacements" throughout history. Dental implants can be traced as far back as the ancient Egyptians. Modern dental implants and the appropriate techniques for their use were refined during the 1950's and 60's. An extensive period of clinical tests and improvements in implant design and delivery techniques started their general popularity in the 1989's. During the past quarter century, designs continued to improve and an ever-increasing number of dentists began to train and learn their delivery techniques. As of today, the art and science of placing dental implants has become extremely popular. It is a routine restorative procedure in many dental offices and is in use all over the world.
Are There Different Types of Dental Implants?
Yes. Dental implants come in a variety of sizes and shapes and can have a surface of titanium or titanium that is coated with a substance that encourages the bone to attach it to the implant. The two main categories of dental implants are the full-sized implants and mini dental implants. The variety of sizes, shapes and configurations is necessary because of the wide range of anatomical differences that patients present. Such factors as amount of bone, bone quality, the shape and relationship of the upper and lower jaws and the amount of implants required to restore a mount are some of the reasons for the different selection of implant systems.
Am I a Candidate for Dental Implants?
The ideal candidate for dental implants have good general and oral health, and be free of periodontal disease. Additionally, the individual should have adequate bone in the jaw to support the implant(s).
What if I Do Not Have Enough Bone in My Jaw?
Not everyone has the perfect "bone" to place implants. The following procedures can be done to facilitate the placing of implants:
Sinus Lift: The upper back jaw has traditionally been one of the most difficult areas to successfully place dental implants, due to insufficient bone quantity/quality and the close proximity to the sinus cavity. Sinus lifts can be performed to "Lift" the sinus floor thereby developing bone for the placement of dental implants.
Ridge Modification: Sometimes deformities in the upper or lower jaw can leave inadequate bone in which to place dental implants. To correct this situation, the gum can be "lifted" away from the ridge to expose the bony defect. The defect is then filled with bone or bone substitute to "build up" the ridge. Ridge modification greatly improves chances for successfully placing dental implants.
Schedule a Dental Implants Appointment
If you have suffered from tooth loss and would like to have more information about how dental implants can restore your smile, please contact our practice to schedule a consultation with Dr. Lemay.