Home / Advanced, General, & Cosmetic Dentistry / Dental Implants
A missing tooth often leads to functional and structural issues with the teeth in addition to the obvious cosmetic impact to the smile as a whole. While traditional bridges or dentures can effectively replace a missing or damaged tooth or several missing teeth, they may not always be the best option. With dental implants, Dr. Martin N. Gorman—our experienced bioesthetic dentist—is able to offer our patients a durable and beautiful restorative solution.
- What Are Dental Implants?
- Benefits of Dental Implants
- Types of Dental Implants
- Candidates for Dental Implants
- Mini Dental Implants
- Tooth Replacement Options
- Dental Implant Procedure
- Dental Implant Results
- Safety of Dental Implants
- Cost of Dental Implants
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are designed to replace missing teeth. They are composed of a titanium or ceramic post that acts as a tooth root, as well as a custom-made restoration that completes the new tooth (or teeth) for a natural appearance. The implant post is placed in the jawbone and anchors the new restoration in position for a secure, comfortable fit. Over time, this post fuses to the surrounding bone, offering unparalleled stability. Dental implants look and function just like natural teeth.
What Are the Benefits of Dental Implants?
Traditional dentures and bridges are typically less durable and comfortable compared to dental implants. Dental implants can offer a variety of unique advantages, including:
- No required pastes or adhesives
- No “slippage” along the gums
- Improved comfort and stability
- Ability to brush and floss with ease
- Strong, long-lasting tooth replacement
- Beautiful, natural-looking results
Patients who choose dental implants usually report significant improvement in their ability to chew and speak. Oftentimes, they also experience a boost in confidence and may smile more regularly. In addition, since the new teeth are held in place by the implant posts, there are no eating restrictions.
Are There Different Types of Dental Implants?
Our practice offers two different types of dental implants: titanium and zirconia. Both of these options are highlighted below, and Dr. Gorman can help you select the most appropriate one for your unique case at the time of your consultation.
Titanium Dental Implants
Having been used for decades, titanium is considered the standard option for dental implant posts. Titanium implants offer a variety of benefits to patients, including a high rate of implantation success, exceptional durability, and proven long-lasting results. Perhaps the only notable drawback of titanium implants is that some individuals are allergic to metal and would therefore not be good candidates for this type of implant—though these instances are rare.
Metal-Free Zirconia Dental Implants
Dental implant posts composed of zirconia—a metal-free ceramic material—are a newer option that has shown to be advantageous for implant dentistry in numerous ways. Dr. Gorman utilizes innovative NobelPearl™ zirconia implants, which offer the benefits of no metal allergy restrictions, a white color that appears completely natural, excellent soft tissue bonding, and a minimal inflammatory response. Additionally, research suggests that NobelPearl™ zirconia implants have a reduced tendency to harbor plaque and may even stimulate microcirculatory processes in surrounding tissue similar to natural teeth.
Am I a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?
Any patient with one or more missing teeth and adequate jawbone density may be a good candidate for dental implants. Ideal candidates will have sufficient jawbone density to support the implant post or posts that will be inserted into the bone tissue. Some patients with lower jawbone density may opt for implant supported dentures with mini dental implants as an alternative option that can still provide many of the same benefits as single tooth implants.
What Are Mini Dental Implants?
Mini dental implants are more narrow than standard dental implants and require less jawbone density. Similar to a standard dental implant, a mini dental implant uses a titanium post to mimic the function of the tooth’s root. With strategic placement of these mini dental implants, a custom denture can then be attached to the titanium posts, eliminating the need for any paste or adhesive. Mini dental implants with an anchored denture are often an ideal solution for patients who wish to replace an entire row or set of missing teeth but do not have the jawbone density necessary for a full set of single tooth implants.
What Are My Tooth Replacement Options with Dental Implants?
Depending upon the unique needs and expectations of the patient, Dr. Gorman may recommend one of several different tooth replacement options with dental implants. All of these choices use the stability of dental implants to restore the form and function of the teeth with natural-looking, long-lasting results. Your options may include:
Single Tooth Implants
A single tooth implant is comprised of one implant post and one porcelain crown. Single tooth implants are designed to replace a natural tooth and become virtually indistinguishable from the natural teeth. If there is sufficient jawbone density to support multiple single tooth implants, this option can be used to replace one or several missing teeth.
An implant bridge uses one or more dental implants to secure the custom-made dental restoration in place, eliminating the need for pastes or adhesives. Implant bridges are designed to replace several adjacent missing teeth, and may be an ideal solution for patients with lower jawbone density.
Implant Supported Dentures
When an entire arch of teeth needs to be replaced, an implant supported denture may be a good option, particularly for patients who are not good candidates for a full set of single tooth implants. Also known as anchored dentures, this missing tooth solution can also be used to replace both arches of teeth for a full mouth restoration. In cases when the patient has particularly low jawbone density, an implant supported denture anchored with mini dental implants may be the most beneficial option. Some patients may choose implant supported dentures as a more cost-effective option for replacing traditional dentures, as opposed to a full set of single tooth implants.
To learn more, please visit our page dedicated to implant supported dentures.
The Dental Implant Procedure
During your initial consultation, Dr. Gorman will perform a comprehensive oral health exam, discuss your expectations, and evaluate your candidacy for implant dentistry. If he believes dental implants are right for you, he will move forward with treatment planning using advanced imaging and digital resources, including state-of-the-art 3D Virtual Implant Placement software that enables him to precisely determine optimal location(s) and angle(s) for implant insertion and positioning. This is particularly beneficial because, traditionally, exact implant placement could not be identified until the time of surgery, often resulting in some “guesswork” for dentists during the procedure. Once a custom plan is in place and you are comfortable with the proposed treatment, our staff can assist you with scheduling your surgery.
On the day of your procedure, the implant post(s) will be carefully and strategically placed into the jawbone in the specific location(s) outlined during the planning process. Over the next few months, the implant(s) will fuse to the bone, creating a stable foundation for the porcelain crown(s) or other restoration(s). While waiting for this fusion (known as osseointegration) to take place, a temporary restoration may be worn. You will then return to the office and be fitted with your custom-made crown(s), bridge(s), or denture, restoring the form and function of your teeth and enhancing your smile. Patients who choose mini dental implants with an anchored denture may have the option of having the entire procedure completed in a single office visit.
How Long Do Dental Implants Last?
One of the greatest advantages of replacing teeth with dental implants is the potential for long-lasting results. In fact, dental implant posts can last decades (and sometimes even a lifetime) when successfully placed and properly cared for—the latter of which includes regular brushing, flossing, and twice annual dental visits for professional cleanings. The restoration placed on top of the implant post can also last many years without the need for replacement when optimal oral hygiene is maintained.
Are Dental Implants Safe?
Dental implants are widely regarded as a safe tooth replacement solution when treatment is properly performed by a skilled dentist experienced in every facet of care—such as Dr. Gorman. Like all surgical procedures, however, there are some potential risks associated with dental implants, including infection, poor healing, slight movement of the implant, and implant failure. Fortunately, the likelihood of these issues occurring can be greatly diminished—if not eliminated—by selecting the right dentist and closely adhering to all pre- and post-operative directions.
How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?
For each dental implant procedure, Dr. Gorman designs a customized treatment plan to suit the patient’s unique needs. As a result, there is no set price for dental implants. There are a number of variables that can impact the total cost of dental implants, including:
- The number of required dental implants
- The location of the dental implants
- The dental implant option selected
- Whether standard or mini dental implants are used
- Laboratory costs for the custom restoration
At the end of your preliminary consultation, Dr. Gorman can provide you with an accurate quote for the cost of your dental implant procedure based upon your customized treatment plan.
For more information about dental implants, or to discover if you are a good candidate for one of our dental implant options, please schedule a consultation with Dr. Gorman today.