Dental Implants | Park City, Salt Lake City, Midway & Heber, UT
Teeth are more than just a beautiful smile. They act as a source of stimulation for the jawbone. When they’re missing, their absence is noticed by more than just onlookers. Without constant stimulation from teeth roots, the jawbone is left unattended to and will begin to deteriorate at the location of the missing tooth. A deteriorated jawbone can lead to a diminished facial appearance and complications when attempting to receive future restorations. This informs the functional purpose of dental implants. Providing the jaw with the stimulation it needs to remain healthy is critical to fully realized oral health.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are tiny titanium or ceramic screws that act as your tooth’s root. Due to osseointegration, the dental implant actually becomes fused to your jawbone. Dental implants are the artificial structures responsible for stimulating your jaw to continue maintaining itself in place of your natural root. Once the osseointegration process is complete, and the implant has had time to heal, an abutment can be placed on the implant to support a crown, bridge, or an entire arch of prosthetic teeth. Abutments act as a connecting element to join the dental implant to the part you’ll see, the restoration. The crown, or the visible portion of a tooth, is substituted by a restoration.
After these structures have been put into place, the patient can enjoy a natural feeling tooth replacement that will function just as a normal tooth would.
What Materials Compose Dental Implants?
The original dental implants were made of titanium, and that same material is still in common use today. The inventor of the modern dental implant, Swedish orthopedic surgeon Per-Ingvar Branemark, in his research on bone healing in rabbits, noticed that bone tissue would grow around the titanium components he used to stabilize bone as they healed. Beyond just growing around the titanium, the bone fully integrated the metal into itself. From there, he developed the first dental implant in 1965.
Because of this groundbreaking find, titanium has proven a remarkable resource in dental restoration. The only downside to implementing this find into the field of dentistry has been that gum tissue does not always adhere to titanium with the same vigor as bone does. For this reason, ceramic has also been picked up as a reliable material for dental implants. Jawbone grows around newer options like ceramic in the same way it does titanium. The key difference being that gum tissue adheres better to the ceramic than it does to the titanium. Dr. Peterson predominantly uses ceramic as his material of choice for implants because of its ability to integrate more successfully to gum tissue than titanium.
Ceramic vs. Titanium Dental Implants
Titanium implants have been the standard material for dental implants for almost 60 years. Recently, as a result of their superior ability to bind to the gums, zirconia ceramic implants have seen a surge in popularity with many dentists and prosthodontists. While both materials are excellent options for implants (both feature success rates well above 90 percent), Dr. Peterson promotes ceramic implants as his implant material of choice because:
- We’ve found that some patients prefer to not have metallic medical devices in their mouths or bodies. This has been demonstrated by the trend in fillings for tooth decay. The recent trend has seen a move away from silver amalgam fillings to instead favoring composite resin fillings.
- Zirconia ceramic has also proven to be more successful in its interactions with the gums as well compared to titanium.
- Ceramic implants provide an aesthetic advantage too due to their color. Being white instead of gray, like titanium provides a more natural appearance.
- Studies have also proven that zirconia implants lead to better tissue attachment and have a lower affinity for retaining plaque.
For these reasons, Dr. Peterson now uses predominantly zirconia ceramic implants from the Straumann Company in his practice.
What Is The Dental Implant Procedure?
The dental implant procedure process takes place in four steps:
- Placement — The procedure begins with Dr. Peterson anesthetizing you. After you have been numbed, Dr. Peterson will expose the jawbone and, if needed, he will drill a tiny hole into the socket that previously held the tooth root. Once the site is properly prepped, the ceramic or titanium implant is screwed into the socket.
- Osseointegration — Once the implant is in place, the jawbone is allowed to grow around the implant, making it part of the jaw. This process, called osseointegration, takes anywhere from six weeks to six months. This step is what separates implants from other replacement options because the implant becomes a part of the bone.
- Attaching the Abutment — Once your jawbone has fully integrated the implant, we will invite you back to the office to attach a post, called an abutment, to the implant. This abutment will serve as a connection between the dental implant itself and the crown, or false tooth. The abutment and crown may be done at the same time or separately.
- Attaching the Crown — Once your gums are healed, you’ll be ready to have the crown (false tooth) attached to the abutment. Dr. Peterson uses porcelain crowns exclusively in his practice. Porcelain crowns beautifully match surrounding teeth and provide an unparalleled strength and durability compared to other materials. Once the crown is attached, you can go out and enjoy your newly completed smile.
Replace Missing Teeth with Dental Implants
Dental implants are essential for restoring a smile diminished by missing teeth. They can fully reconstruct one or multiple missing teeth aesthetically and functionally, providing their wearer with the self-confidence and ability to go about their daily lives unhindered by the complications of missing teeth.
- Look and feel like real teeth
- Improve speech
- Improve chewing capabilities
- Stimulate the jaw to maintain its structural integrity
If you are considering dental implants, scheduling a consultation with Dr. Peterson is a great place to start.
Ideal Candidates for Dental Implants
- Patients of any age
- Those with an adequate amount of jawbone
- People in good oral health
- Patients free of periodontal disease
- People who do not suffer from uncontrolled diabetes or are immunocompromised
- Those who suffer from a condition, or are on medication that may affect the healing process
Schedule A Consultation Today!
Advanced dental implants are one of the many services we provide to our patients at Advanced Cosmetic Dentistry. Our services extend throughout Park City, Salt Lake City, Heber, Midway, Duchesne, Vernal, and their surrounding areas. For more information about dental implants and to discover if you are a good candidate, call today for your consultation at 435-503-8841 or complete a Contact Form here.