What is a Dental Implant?
Dental Implants provide a solution to the long-time problem of ill-fitting and uncomfortable dentures. A dental implant is a small dental “post” or “screw” that is placed in the jawbone as an artificial substitution for a natural tooth root. This provides a strong foundation to support or secure a partial or full denture. Dental implants are the closest possible replacement for natural teeth, and the optimal way to restore your natural smile. They have a long clinical history and an excellent success rate. Dental implants can be used to replace a single lost tooth or many missing teeth.
Implants offer improved ability to eat foods you may have avoided
Why are Dental Implants a Good Choice?
Dentures secured on dental implants are more stable and feel more ‘real’ compared to conventional dentures. When dentures are secured and more stable in the mouth a greater variety of foods can be chewed effectively without dislodging the dentures. Often harder and more nutritious foods can now be introduced into your diet, since chewing them effectively is no longer an issue. Many patients who have chosen implant secured dentures are pleased and comfortable for the first time since they lost their natural teeth. They no longer feel as if their dentures will ‘slip’ when speaking or laughing and they have improved confidence with their smile.
Benefits of Dental Implants
- Improved ability to eat foods you may have avoided
- Decreased denture discomfort
- Increased denture stability
- Significant decrease in bone loss at implant sites
- Improved self esteem
- Improved nutrition
- Improved digestion
- Reduced palate of an upper denture to increase taste, temperature and texture of food
Who can have Dental Implants?
Those considering dental implants to help secure their dentures should consult with Culp Denture Clinic. During this consultation you should expect to discuss the advantages of implant treatment. A realistic time frame and a dialogue of all costs that may be expected should be discussed, to help you make an informed decision.
A consultation appointment and thorough examination will also be required with the implant placing Doctor* who works closely with Culp Denture Clinic. The implant placing Doctor will assess whether you are in good oral and general health, and whether you are a suitable candidate for dental implants. To determine if you are a suitable candidate for dental implants, an x-ray or CT scan may be necessary. This is a simple and painless ‘picture’ that provides valuable information for the placing Doctor about the ideal placement of implants.
The collaboration and the communication shared between you, Culp Denture Clinic and the implant placing Doctor is essential. Through the consultation, examination, and planning for dental implants, it will be determined whether dental implants are the right treatment for you, and the number of dental implants required to meet your expectations.
*‘Implant placing Doctor’ refers to a Dental Surgeon (Dentist), Oral Surgeon (Maxillofacial Surgeon), or Periodontist (Gum Specialist) trained and licensed to place dental implants in the mouth.
What is the process for Dental Implants?
Make consultation appointments with Culp Denture Clinic and implant placing Doctor to determine if dental implants are right for you.
- Culp Denture Clinic and Doctor will coordinate the treatment plan that best suits your needs.
- Several visits will be required with Culp Denture Clinic(for the dentures to be fabricated and to be secured on the dental implants) and with the implant placing Doctor (to place the implants and to ensure, after a period of healing, they are integrated with the jawbone).
- Checkups should be scheduled at regular intervals with: Culp Denture Clinic, Dental Hygienist, and implant placing Doctor. Together your dental team will provide you with the dental care your implants require for your optimal dental health.
Tips on Oral and Denture Hygiene
- Dental implants are placed in the jawbone and are intended to act much like natural teeth, and like natural teeth, implants need to be kept clean using a toothbrush and floss.
- Dental plaque is an invisible bacterial film that forms on natural teeth, dentures, retention bars and implant abutments. Once hardened by calcification, plaque becomes calculus (commonly referred to as tartar). Gum irritation and diseases are only a few of the damaging occurrences that could compromise the success of your implants over time.
- To avoid plaque build-up, a daily regimen of cleaning and rinsing is required.
- Special floss and brushes can be used to clean implant abutments and bars and to gently massage your gums.
- Avoid using metal tools to clean your implant components.
- As with natural teeth, your dental implants will require regular professional cleanings and evaluation by a Dental Hygienist.
- Do not forget your dentures! Taking care of your dentures is also part of a good oral hygiene program.
- Clean and rinse your dentures after every meal.
- Between meals, brush your dentures with a soft brush and non-abrasive denture cream.
- A denture should be removed each day and placed in a covered container with a denture soaking cleanser that kills bacteria. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for the denture cleanser to determine how long your denture should be soaked. Soaking a denture overnight is optional with some denture cleansers. This keeps a denture clean, and also gives the supporting tissues in your mouth a chance to rest.
- If your denture is secured to your implants and cannot be removed by you, then Culp Denture Clinic will advise you of a special hygiene regimen required.
Some private dental plans are starting to include limited coverage for implants as they grow in popularity, and coverage under your dental plan may be possible. Questions about your individual needs and how they relate to insurance should be discussed with Culp Denture Clinic and insurance provider.