It is important to learn about dental implants if you suffer from damaged, diseased, or missing teeth. As the number one suggested replacement for tooth loss, they offer more advantages than any other tooth replacement solution. As an expert implant dentist in Chester Springs, PA, Dr. Jason Petkevis explains what dental implants are to help his patients learn more about them.
The Three Main Parts of a Dental Implant
A dental implant restoration is typically made up of three main parts: the implant fixture, the abutment, and the artificial tooth or teeth. They are designed to work together to provide a natural looking and functional smile.
An implant fixture is the base of an implant restoration. It must be surgically put in place in the jawbone by Dr. Petkevis. Most implants are made of titanium or a titanium alloy, which is a biocompatible material. This allows the implant to fuse with the jawbone during the process called osseointegration. Implant fixtures will replace the missing teeth roots to and provide a stable foundation for the artificial tooth or teeth. You will need anywhere from one to eight implants per arch depending on the extent of your tooth loss.
There are a large range of dental implants available in terms of diameters and lengths. Since jaw sizes vary greatly, there must be a wide variety of implants sizes to accommodate varying sizes and shapes of jawbones. The diameter of an implant can range from as small as 3mm to as large as 7mm, while the length can vary from as short as 6mm to as long as 16mm or more. Dr. Petkevis will choose which size is best based on where the implants need to go, the quality and quantity of jawbone, and the number of teeth being replaced.
The abutment is simply the connector piece that attaches to the tops of the implants. It will sit above the gum line and help secure the dental restoration to the implants. The abutments will be custom made to fit your implants and dental restoration. There are many types of abutments that serve different purposes. The type of abutment you need will depend on the type of dental restoration you are getting.
Artificial Tooth or Teeth
The artificial tooth or teeth are simply your new dental restoration. This part is what is visible and will replace the crown portions of your missing teeth. We will create a dental crown, dental bridge, or denture that will match the size, shape, and color of your surrounding teeth. Your new smile will be completely natural looking.
The Types of Dental Implants
There are three types of dental implants available. Endosteal is the most common type that Dr. Petkevis uses today. However, there are also subperiosteal and zygoma implants.
The endosteal implants are the most common type of dental implants used today. This type of implant is surgically inserted into the jaw bone of the patient. Most are made of titanium like other types of replacement body parts. This is because titanium is well-accepted by the human body.
An endosteal implant looks like a screw with threads since it will literally screw into the jaw bone. Once there, the bone cells will surround the implant and fuse to it. This creates a strong bond between the bone and implant. The implant can then act as the missing tooth root and support a dental crown, bridge, or denture.
Unlike endosteal implants, subperiosteal implants are placed on top of the jawbone, under the gums, instead of in the jawbone. This type of implant is made up of a metal framework that is custom fit to the patient’s jawbone. The framework is surgically placed on the bone. The gums will heal around the framework with posts that extend from the gums. Then your dentist can secure the denture, dental bridge, or dental crown.
While endosteal implants are for patients with a lot of quality bone, subperiosteal implants are for those who lack sufficient bone mass. Patients who suffered from bone loss due to disease or missing teeth may lack enough bone to support endosteal implants.
Zygoma implants are not used often by dentists. They are for patients who suffer from severe bone loss in the upper jaw. Instead of securing the implant fixtures to the jaw bone (because it is lacking in quantity and quality), the dentist will anchor the implants into the cheekbone. Zygoma implants ultimately give some patients the chance to receive implants who otherwise wouldn’t qualify for them.
To learn more about dental implants and the services that Dr. Petkevis offers, please call us at 610.904.9274 to book your consult. You can also schedule an appointment for dental implants in Chester Springs, PA by filling out our online appointment form.