If you have lost one or more teeth, it is important to replace them with custom restorations. There are a few different ways to anchor restorations within your smile, but dental implants provide the very best support. Our Mesa practice can refer you to a trusted oral surgeon who will place your implants; meanwhile, Dr. Wildung will create your custom restoration so you can achieve a smile that is functional, comfortable, and natural looking. Dental implants are titanium posts placed directly in the jaw bone. They require two surgeries and several months of healing time, but can provide you with a lifetime of support equal to that of natural tooth roots.
Dental Implant Candidates
You must have adequate bone mass in your jaw to accommodate a dental implant. If a missing tooth goes untreated for too long, your body begins to resorb bone cells, eliminating the potential foundation for a dental implant. In some cases, it may be possible to perform a bone graft that can restore this lost bone mass. The healing of the jawbone is critical to the success of this procedure; because smoking hinders the bones' ability to heal, non-smokers make the very best candidates for dental implants.
Dental implants can actually halt the natural process of losing bone mass in the absence of tooth roots. They also provide the most dependable means of anchoring all means of restorations. Conventional dentures simply rest on the gums, secured with a very mild adhesive, but still prone to slippage while speaking or eating. Implant-supported dentures hold dentures in place as securely as natural tooth roots, allowing you to speak and eat with confidence.
In short, dental implants can be an incredible investment in the health, function, and appearance of your smile.
During the initial surgery, a local anesthetic is administered to ensure your comfort. An incision is placed in the gums, granting access to the jaw bone. A pilot hole is drilled in the jaw bone, and the threaded implant is inserted. Next, the gum is stitched closed over the top of the implant. Over the next three to six months, the bone will fuse to the implant in a process called osseointegration. Once your surgeon has determined that your implants have fully integrated, you will return for a second surgery. Once again, an incision is placed in the gums, exposing the tops of the implants. A special abutment is attached to the implants, which will serve as the point of contact with your custom restorations. A special collar is placed around the implant to guide the gums in healing, leaving the top of the implant exposed above the gum line.
Crowns and bridges are prosthetic teeth custom-designed to support damaged teeth or replace missing teeth. Our metal-free crowns and bridges are made of zirconium, a material that is exceptionally strong and looks like your natural teeth. We can produce fully customized crowns and bridges in one to three weeks.
High-quality Traditional and Implant-supported Dentures
Custom dentures provided through our Mesa practice can restore balance, comfort, and functionality to your smile. It can be easy to take your teeth for granted until they are gone or damaged beyond repair. Fortunately, Dr. Wildung can provide you with custom dentures to help you to speak, eat, and smile with confidence once again. We work with a trusted offsite laboratory to create both traditional and implant-supported dentures in about one to three weeks. If you are suffering from missing teeth, or teeth that need to be replaced, dentures provided through our Mesa office serving Chandler, Tempe, and Gilbert can help you.
Traditional dentures rest upon the gums, held in place with a mild adhesive. Conventional dentures are the most cost-effective variety, but they can potentially shift out of place while speaking or eating.
Conventional dentures can be placed one of two ways:
- After the teeth are removed, the gums must heal, and the shape of the jaw bone will change. This can take as long as a few months, and this time is spent without teeth. However, once the gums have healed, this will provide us with the dimensions needed to create a set of custom dentures that will need minimal, if any, adjustments afterward.
- Before the teeth are removed, we can measure your jaws and create an immediate set of dentures. This way, you will have teeth as your gums heal, but you will have to have the dentures altered eventually when the gums fully heal and the jaw bone changes shape.
Implant-supported dentures, on the other hand, are anchored by titanium posts surgically implanted in the jaw. Most patients find that implant-supported dentures feel more natural, are more effective when chewing and enunciating. Dental implants require two surgical procedures and several months of healing time, but can potentially provide a lifetime of excellent support. Another important advantage is that dental implants can help you retain bone mass in your jaw. In the absence of tooth roots, your body will slowly begin to resorb bone cells, which weakens the jaw. However, the body perceives dental implants as tooth roots, and will halt this process once they are placed.
If you do not need to replace all of your teeth, we can provide you with partial dentures. These removable prosthetic teeth are typically anchored to your natural teeth with a retainer-like device. We use metal-free cosmetic partial dentures that are more comfortable and aesthetic than traditional dentures.
Living with Dentures
It can take some time to get used to your dentures. At first, they may feel bulky. However, over time, everyday functions such as speaking and eating will begin to feel more natural with your dentures. Just like your natural teeth, dentures require regular daily care. You should brush them at least twice a day to avoid the accumulation of plaque.
These restorative treatments are typically provided for older adults and seniors, though they can benefit any patient who has lost adult teeth. Please contact us to discuss further if you are considering, or feel that you need, any of these treatments.
Your Beautiful Smile Awaits!
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