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A dental implant is a titanium cylinder that is placed in the jawbone to replace missing teeth. Various attachments can be connected to the implants, which are connected to artificial teeth replacements. These replacements can be removable or fixed. A dental crown (cap) can be made to attach to one implant or several crowns to several implants and crowns. A bridge can be attached to one or more implants with artificial teeth in between the implants. Dentures can be made to screw into five or more implants or to snap over two to four implants. Existing dentures can be modified to snap over two to four implants. The more implants holding a denture the more secure, less bulky and the greater the biting force. There are three types of dental implants: Traditional, Mini Implants, and Transitional. Transitional implants are a recent development. They are placed with Traditional implants. A denture can be secured to the transitional implants while the traditional implants are healing. When the traditional implants are ready to support the denture, the transitional implants are removed. Mini implants are also a recent development. They are smaller and simpler to place than traditional implants. They can be used to secure an existing denture as soon as they are placed. Patients must regularly clean around all implants. They also should be professionally cleaned every 3 to 4 months. Attachments will need regular maintenance such as cleaning, screw replacement, screw tightening, and part replacement. There is a fee for all of these procedures as well as your treatment selections. Also, we the staff and dentists at Delmarva Dental Services will be more than happy to answer any of your questions.

All the information available now about dental implants can be confusing. A dental implant is a titanium cylinder of varying lengths and diameters placed in the upper or lower jawbone. The success of the implant depends upon its stability or resistance to force. This is influenced by the size of the implant, the quantity and density of bone, and the amount of force placed upon it. Bigger implants are better. A lot of hard bone is best. Bone quantity and density varies in different individuals. Usually the lower jaw is better than the upper and the bone in the front of the jaw is better than the back. The fewer teeth attached to an implant and the less rigid the attachment to it the better. Various attachments connect the implants to artificial teeth. A crown or cap can be made to attach to one implant or several crowns to several implants. A bridge can be attached to one or more implants with artificial teeth in between the implants. Dentures can be screwed to 4 or more implants or snapped over 2 to 4 implants. Traditionally, implants are left in place for 4 to 6 months before artificial teeth are attached. However, a recent development is the attachment of the artificial teeth to the implants at the time of the placement. This is possible where bone quantity and density are good. An example of this is when 2 to 4 mini-implants are placed in the anterior portion of the lower jaw. The mini-implants have ball-shaped heads on them. A metal ring with a rubber gasket that fits over the ball is placed in the patient’s existing denture. This is also less stressful on the implant than a more rigidly fixed tooth replacement. Another example would be Teeth-In-An-Hour™. Computer software predetermines the size of the implants and precisely where the implants are to be placed from a CAT scan. A template is made to guide the implant placement. The artificial teeth and the attachments are also made in advance. Everything is placed in one appointment. Dental implants have a high degree of success. General dentists, periodontists, and oral surgeons can perform implants. Always inquire about the level of experience of your implant dentist.

Traditional Dental Implants

A dental implant is a titanium cylinder that is placed in the jawbone to replace missing teeth. Various attachments can be connected to the implants that are connected to artificial teeth replacements. These replacements can be removable or fixed. A dental crown (cap) can be made to attach to one implant or several crowns to several implants and crowns. A bridge can be attached to one or more implants with artificial teeth in between the implants. Dentures can be made to screw into 5 or more implants or to snap over 2 to 4 implants. Existing dentures can be modified to snap over 2 to 4 implants. The more implants holding a denture the more secure, less bulky, and the greater the biting force. There are three types of dental implants: Traditional, Mini Implants, and Transitional. Patients must regularly clean around all implants. They also should be professionally cleaned every 3 to 4 months. Attachments will need regular maintenance such as cleaning, screw replacement, screw tightening, and part replacement. There is a fee for all of these procedures as well as your treatment selections. Also, we the staff and doctors at Delmarva Dental Services will be more than happy to answer any of your questions.

Mini Implants

The “Mini Implant Denture Stabilization” (MIDS) process involves several appointments, however your lower denture can be stabilized at the first appointment. During the first visit you will have either 2, 3, or 4 mini implants placed with local anesthetic. The implants are inserted into the jawbone. Your existing lower denture is relined with soft plastic. This allows your denture to slip over the implants for better stability. You will be checked at a follow-up visit in one week or sooner if necessary. In three weeks you will return to have the soft reline removed from your denture. Metal housings with rubber gaskets are placed in the underside of your denture using a hard plastic reline material. These gaskets snap over the implants making the denture even more secure. A few appointments may be needed for adjustments to your denture. You will then need regular cleanings of your implants, x-rays, gasket replacement, and occasional repairs. There will be a fee for these procedures. The implants and gaskets will need to be maintained by brushing with an end-tufted brush at least once daily.

Implant Crowns

Implants are placed in the jawbone; attachments are connected to them and an artificial single tooth or multiple teeth are connected to the attachments. The implant acts like the tooth root under the gum. The abutment is attached to the implant with a screw that connects into the implant. It is like the part of the tooth that sticks out of the gum. A crown is cemented or screwed onto the abutment similar to a crown placed on a tooth.

Implant Bridges

Implants are placed in the jawbone; attachments are connected to them and a dental bridge consisting of an artificial single tooth or multiple teeth is connected to the attachments. The implant acts like the tooth root under the gum. The abutment is attached to the implant with a screw that connects into the implant. It is like the part of the tooth that sticks out of the gum. An artificial tooth can be connected between two implants making a bridge.

Retained Implant Dentures

Upper and lower complete dentures or partial dentures can be retained by dental implants. Implants can be used when new dentures are made or in many cases placed to retain your existing dentures. A full denture would require at least two implants. Of course the more implants that are used the greater the retention.

Fixed Implant Bridge

Artificial zirconium, porcelain, or plastic teeth are screwed into 5 or more implants. It stays in the mouth and is only taken out by the dentist periodically for cleaning.

Guided Implant Placement

The science of 3D scanning, imaging, designing and fabrication allow us to precisely place implants based on the design of the present or future teeth replacement options. Using this technique is minimally invasive, faster and leads to a more successful end result.

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