Dental Implants: The Gold Standard for Tooth Replacement
When you lose a tooth, more than just your appearance is affected. Many times patients experience decreased confidence, poor nutrition, and a cascade of other effects on their oral and general health. Dr. Paul Gabriel is highly trained and has years of experience placing and restoring dental implants at his Wexford, PA, office. Dental implants are titanium posts that are surgically inserted into the jawbone to replace tooth roots. A durable restoration is then placed on top of the implant post to achieve unparalleled stability and a completely natural-looking smile.
By replacing both the root and crown of missing teeth, dental implants offer the most stable restoration, as well as provide improved structural support for your entire smile.
Complications of Missing Teeth
Left untreated, tooth loss can have far-reaching consequences on both your oral health and overall well-being. Individuals may experience difficulty performing basic functions such as eating and speaking properly. Over time, surrounding teeth will shift to fill the gap left by a missing tooth, which can result in misalignment, loosening, and further tooth loss. Because the remaining teeth will sustain more pressure, the entire structure of your smile may be weakened. Additionally, widespread tooth loss can cause sagging facial tissue, resulting in a sunken, aged appearance.
Some patients may require preparatory treatment prior to their implant surgery. In order for the implant to properly fuse with the surrounding bone, the area needs to have sufficient mass and density. If the process, known as osseointegration, does not occur, it can result in implant failure.
If needed, bone grafting can be completed prior to your implant placement to ensure a solid and secure foundation. Additionally, some patients may need a sinus lift if an implant needs to be placed in the back portion of the upper jaw. Both bone grafting and sinus lifts can add approximately six to nine months to your total treatment timespan.
Dental Implant Placement
Once Dr. Gabriel determines you are ready for dental implants, you will have a thorough discussion about what to expect before, during, and after your surgery. On the day of your procedure, you will need to have a loved one accompany you or arrange for other transportation.
To begin, the treatment area will be numbed with local anesthesia and you may receive sedation to ease your nerves and further ensure your comfort during surgery. We offer oral sedation and nitrous oxide, and can bring in an anesthesiologist to monitor your condition throughout your visit. Once you are made comfortable, your dentist will create a small opening in your gums in order to access the jaw. Next, the implant post will be carefully inserted through a pilot hole in your jawbone. In some cases, the incision will be closed, and in others, a temporary restoration will be placed. Roughly four to six months later, a permanent restoration can be attached.
Types of Dental Implants
Depending on your unique condition and treatment goals, we may recommend a variety of dental implants and techniques:
- All-on-4® involves securing a full denture using only four implant posts. This minimally invasive technique is ideal for patients who need to replace an entire arch of missing teeth.
- Mini implants are suitable for patients whose jaw cannot support traditional implants but cannot or do not want to receive a bone graft. Although mini implants do not offer the same longevity as traditional posts, for the right patient, they can provide several benefits.
- Same-day implants allow Dr. Gabriel to extract problematic teeth, perform a type of grafting known as socket preservation, place an implant, and attach a temporary restoration all in one appointment.
Receive the Best Treatment for Missing Teeth
By replacing both the root and crown of missing teeth, dental implants offer the most stable restoration, as well as provide improved structural support for your entire smile. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and learn whether you are a candidate for this advanced treatment option.
“Dental implants are the gold standard in teeth replacement solutions, and you can expect to find restored function, aesthetics, and an improved quality of life.”