Dental implants are prosthetic tooth roots designed to fuse with the jawbone. This extremely stable foundation then anchors a beautiful, permanent crown. If you’ve been told that you’re jawbone is too thin to support implants, mini dental implants (MDIs) are an alternative. MDIs are smaller in diameter than conventional implants and can be placed in areas of thin bone without the need for bone grafts.
Santa Cruz implant dentist Dr. Matiasevich Jr. offers different kinds of implant procedures. The type of implant surgery used depends on your preferences, how many teeth you are replacing and the health of your jawbone.
Traditional Implant Placement
The oral surgeon first extracts any damaged teeth and lets your mouth and jawbone heal. Healing usually takes about two to three months, but it can take longer if you are replacing several teeth. After this waiting period, the surgeon drills a hole in the bone and places a titanium screw. This prosthetic root can support one or more dental crowns depending on the implant site. As your mouth heals from surgery, you wear a temporary bridge for about three to six months. After healing is complete, your dentist will fit the permanent crown on top of the titanium tooth root.
Immediate Implant Placement
Some studies show that immediate or same-day implants have a similar success rate as delayed or traditional implants. Same-day implants are typically used when the space left by a missing tooth is smaller than the size of a conventional implant. A small-diameter implant is used to support one or several missing teeth. After surgery, you are fitted with a fixed, temporary bridge to wear during the three to six month healing process. Once healing is complete, the temporary bridge is removed and replaced with permanent crowns.
If your jawbone volume and health cannot support implants, bone grafting is required. A piece of bone from your upper or lower jaw or from the hip is grafted to the implant site. A hormone that promotes bone growth is also sometimes used to reinforce a thin jaw.
Want to know which implant procedure is ideal for your condition? Visit your Santa Cruz dentist or call us today!