Dental Implant Placement
A missing tooth can significantly alter the shape of your face and affect many aspects of your life that you otherwise take for granted, such as chewing solid foods and even smiling for the camera. In the past, patients with missing teeth had very limited options outside of dentures that, more often than not, didn’t solve the crux of the issue: bone resorption and facial changes. Now there are advanced procedures available, known as dental implants. They mimic both the appearance and functionality of your real teeth. The wear and tear on dental implants are minimal, much like your real teeth.
Depending on the patient’s situation, they may undergo two types of dental implants. The first is known as endosteal implants, which are made from materials like titanium. The second type of implant, known as subperiosteal implants, are used on patients who don’t have enough healthy jawbone for endosteal implants.
Consider making an appointment with our experts Dr. Thomas Rafferty and Dr. Rafferty at Thomas P. Rafferty, DDS to find out which option is more suitable for you. The dental implant procedure includes the following steps:
|Our surgeon will cut open the gum to reach the jawbone
|They will drill a hole into the jawbone to make space for the implant
|The implant will be inserted into the jawbone and given time to fuse with it
The surgical site takes as long as six months, and, in some cases, even longer, to heal. During this time, the body forms new bone around the implant in a process known as osseointegration. This crucial process will strengthen the dental implant and keep it secure in place so that it can work as your new tooth root.
Some patients opt for mini implants instead of regular-sized dental implants. Although the exact goal of both types of dental implants is similar, the difference lies in their thickness and overall stability. A mini implant is about as thick as a toothpick, while regular-sized dental implants are anywhere from 3.5 to 5.5 millimeters in diameter. Mini implants are often used to provide support to smaller teeth. They often do not use screws or abutments like regular implants because there simply isn't enough space.
A key advantage of using mini implants is that they require less jawbone density. And the surgical site heals more quickly. In some cases, patients may be able to get their artificial teeth on the same day. A major disadvantage of mini dental implants is that they are not as stable as regular-sized dental implants. Subjecting mini implants to a high biting force could push them out of place and require the patient to revisit their dentist. In some cases, the mini implant may have to be removed, and the entire process may be repeated. For these reasons, it is recommended to opt for regular-sized dental implants, unless otherwise necessary.
Learn more by booking an appointment at Thomas P. Rafferty, DDS. Call now at (978) 720-9009 to speak with our friendly staff.