If you’ve lost a tooth, you’re not alone. Nearly 70 percent of adults age 35 to 44 have lost at least one permanent tooth.
About 20 years ago, the only options for replacing teeth were bridges or removable dentures. Now, dental implants offer the most secure, durable, and lifelike restoration available.
A dental implant is typically a screw-like post embedded in the jawbone. After the implant fuses with the bone during the healing process, it is topped with an artificial tooth that looks and functions like a natural tooth. A major benefit of an implant is that it stimulates the bone and prevents it from deteriorating and shrinking. A traditional bridge or denture sits on or over the gums, allowing the jawbone underneath to shrink through lack of use.
Dr. Kenneth W. Coffey in Orland Park offers dental implants restoration that overcomes the difficulties of missing teeth: Trouble eating, embarrassment, and discomfort, to name a few. Dr. Coffey’s full range of cosmetic dentistry services can return function and beauty to your smile. Implants, in particular, will restore both comfort and peace of mind by ensuring the dental work stays securely in place.
There are different types of implants, based on how they are embedded in the jaw. They include:
- Endosseous(in the bone). These are the most common implants embedded in the jaw. They resemble a screw and can be made of a metal (usually titanium), metal-covered ceramic, or ceramic material. They also come in a blade shape.
- Subperiosteal (on top of the bone). These implants feature a metal framework that sits underneath the gum but on top of the jawbone, resting like a saddle on the bone. Posts on the framework protrude through the gum to hold artificial teeth. This design is used when there is minimal bone height in the jaw, particularly when there is a large area of missing teeth and much of the bone underneath has been reabsorbed.
- Transosteal (through the bone). This implant is either a metal pin or a U-shaped pin that passes through the jawbone and gums into the mouth. It was originally used for people who had no lower teeth and very little bone in their lower jaw. The procedure requires extensive surgery and general anesthesia. Most doctors today prefer to strengthen the jaw through bone grafts and then use an endosseous implant.
In addition to different types of implants, there are also numerous configurations for the attached artificial teeth. Implants can be used to support:
- A single missing tooth.
- A bridge of artificial teeth.
- An entire arch of teeth on the top or bottom.
- Dentures, which may be removable for daily care or permanent, removable only by a dentist.
The process of getting implants does require patience as it takes time for the implant to fuse with the bone. But the results are well worth the wait. If you have lost one or more teeth and would like to learn more about how dental implants can restore your smile, please call our offices to request a personal consultation.