What are Dental Implants?

Dental Implants offer a great alternative to a bridge, a missing tooth, or a partial denture. A dental implant is an artificial root placed by a surgeon to replace one or more missing teeth. The process is done in two phases. The first phase is the surgical phase which consists of placing a titanium or zirconium fixture post into the bone to replace the root. After a few months of healing and integration to make sure the post is stable, the second phase the restorative phase where an implant crown is placed on top of the implant fixture.

A dental implant with a custom-made crown is a long-lasting restoration than will bring back the esthetics and function of your natural teeth. A dental implant doesn’t get decay and will never need a root canal. Placing an implant will help to maintain the bone health in the area versus allowing the tissue to shrink. This also helps to maintain the adjacent teeth bone height as well.

If you are missing a tooth from serious decay, trauma, infection, or periodontal disease, you can now avoid having an empty space and risk the adjacent teeth from shifting into that space creating other additional problems such as teeth tipping and moving which promotes more decay and gum problems.

If you are missing multiple teeth, we can do an implant supported bridge or even an implant supported denture. This will give you a very stable chewing function and help your mouth stay healthy.

How long do Dental Implants last?

Dental implants are expected to be lifelong. This means if you get a well-placed implant, it reasonable to expect it to last you the rest of your life! Because this does involve having a surgery, many people prefer the more traditional bridge which is done in two visits. If you are prone to cavities, however, a bridge may only last you 8-10 years and then you might need it replaced. While implants can fall out or break, it is quite rare and most of the issues that caused people to be cautious about dental implants in the past, have been handled. There are more than 3 million dental implants placed successfully throughout the US and an average of 500,000 more are placed annually!.  

How can Implants be used with Dentures? 

Some people who have dentures because they lost their teeth. When a tooth is lost, often the bone that supported it dissolves over time, leaving a thinner and shorter ridge. This does not allow for a stable base to support a denture sometimes. By using dental implants, dentures and partial dentures can be stabilized with the use of dental implants. Placing 4-6 implants throughout an arch is often enough to give good stability to a denture. Using either screws that hold the denture or partial in place will give the best support. This usually requires a thicker base for the metal support. Using another procedure called “Locators”, Dr. Donley is able to attach the denture in such a manner that it snaps in place on top of the implants.  If you suffer from loose dentures, this could be a great option to explore with doctor.

Please contact the office of Dr. James R. Donley at Lumbertown Dental Wellness in North Muskegon, Michigan to schedule a consultation to find out if a dental implant might be a good option for you.