Replace Missing Teeth
If you are missing teeth, dental implants are a permanent restorative dental solution that look and feel natural. This option is quickly becoming the standard of care for patients who would like to replace teeth because they are long-lasting and beautiful. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Kim to see if you are a good candidate for dental implants!
Types of Dental Implants
There are a few different types of dental implants that are used to restore missing teeth. Let’s take a look at them now.
- Endosteal implants – We offer endosteal implants at Pinnacle Family Dental. This type of implant is usually screw-shaped and made of titanium, and is placed directly into the gums and jaw. It bonds with the surrounding tissue through the process of osseointegration, becoming a natural part of your mouth and allowing it to support an implant-supported restoration like a dental crown.
- Mini implants – Mini implants are a subtype of endosteal implants. They are thinner and smaller than standard endosteal implants, so the implant placement process is less invasive, and does not require as much healthy jaw bone tissue. They are usually not used for single-tooth restorations. Instead, multiple mini implants are usually used to support implant-supported bridges and dentures.
- Subperiosteal implants – Subperiosteal implants consist of a metal framework which is surgically implanted below the gums, but above the teeth. One or more implant posts stick out of the gums, allowing for the placement of multiple implants. This type of implant can be used even in patients with weakened jaw bones, but it is rarely used today because it has a high risk of complications and is a very invasive treatment.
The Latest in Implant Technology
At Pinnacle Family Dental, we invest in technology because we want to provide our patients with exceptional treatment experiences. Our office is equipped with a CBCT machine that Dr. Kim uses to plan implant cases with precision and accuracy. CBCT scans generate high-quality 3D reconstructions of your mouth, so the placement of your implants will be accurate and they will fit perfectly in your mouth.
Placements & Restorations
Dr. Kim is a skilled implant dentist, and at Pinnacle Family Dental we offer both placements and restorations. During the placement process, Dr. Kim will surgically insert the implant (a small metal post) into your jawbone. Once the implant heals, you’ll come back to the office to receive your custom-made restoration. Dr. Kim will skillfully place your restoration and you will leave our office with a new, refreshed smile.
The Dental Implant Placement & Restoration Process
After you’ve been approved for an implant at Pinnacle Family Dental, the dental implant process will involve several appointments over a period of 3-6 months. Your treatment will begin with a comprehensive CBCT (Cone Beam Computed Tomography) scan which will allow Dr. Kim to develop a customized treatment plan for your mouth.
At your first appointment, Dr. Kim will numb your mouth and clean your teeth to prepare for the surgery. Once the treatment area is numb, he will open up a small hole in the gum and jaw, and use your treatment plan to place a dental implant precisely into the socket where your missing tooth used to be. Then, the area will be cleaned and sutured shut, and you will be sent home with a set of recovery instructions to follow as your implant heals.
You will come back for a few follow-up appointments during the next 3-6 months. During these appointments, Dr. Kim will examine your mouth to check how well your implant is healing and integrating with the bone. He will also take impressions and photos of your mouth to begin crafting your implant-supported restoration, such as a dental crown.
Once your mouth has healed, you will need to come back to our office to have an abutment placed on your dental implant. Then, once you have recovered from this, you will come back for your final appointment. Dr. Kim will check your crown to make sure it fits properly, then bond it to your dental implant permanently, completing the procedure.
In order to receive a dental implant, a patient must have adequate jawbone and healthy gums. If your jawbone isn't thick enough or is too soft, you may need bone grafting before you can have dental implant surgery. During this process, Dr. Kim will transplant bone from another part of your body to place into your jawbone in order to grow enough bone to support an implant. Call us today to schedule a consultation to determine whether you will need a bone grafting treatment prior to dental implant placement.
Why Are Implants So Important After Tooth Loss?
We typically recommend that you have a dental implant placed within a few months after you lose a tooth. When you lose a tooth or have a tooth extracted, the gum and jaw tissue will start to recede and weaken because there is no pressure from chewing to help keep your jaw strong. Eventually, your jaw bone will weaken. Bone resorption can even happen if you wear a dental bridge or a partial denture.
The only way to preserve this jaw bone and tissue is with a dental implant. Dental implants support the strength and integrity of your jaw bone because they function as an artificial “root”. This means that they put pressure on the gum and jaw tissue, and stimulate them to prevent resorption and weakening.
What Are the Benefits of Dental Implants?
Dental implants have a number of great benefits that are quickly making them the gold standard for replacing missing teeth:
- Natural look and feel – Your tooth will look and feel completely natural. An implant will not move, shift, or change position when you eat, speak, drink, or smile. In addition, it will look totally natural to others.
- Simple care – Simply brush and floss normally, and see Dr. Kim for regular 6-month teeth cleanings and oral exams.
- Long lifespan – Dental implants can easily last 30+ years with proper care, and most patients keep their implants for the rest of their lives.
- Keeps gums and jaw healthy – Dental implants support the health and strength of gum and bone tissue by putting pressure on the jaw and preventing resorption.
Who is A Good Candidate For Dental Implants?
As a starting point, most good candidates for dental implants have some common characteristics, such as:
- Good oral health – Implants are not recommended for patients who are suffering from issues like tooth decay or gum disease. Implants are also not typically used for patients who have a weak jaw bone due to bone resorption. However, sinus lifts and bone grafts can strengthen your jaw bone in preparation for implant treatment.
- Robust overall health – Patients must be healthy enough to undergo the dental implant procedure and recover in a reasonable amount of time. Some issues, like autoimmune disorders, may prevent the placement of an implant. During your consultation with Dr. Kim, inform him about all of your medical conditions.
- Commitment to oral health – You must be committed to caring for your new teeth, and do your best to avoid issues like gum disease, which could harm your implant.
- Non-smoker/willing to stop smoking – Tobacco use can interfere with the healing process after your implants are placed. You must stop smoking before you have an implant placed.
If you are missing teeth and thinking about getting dental implants in Ellicott City, Font Hill, or Normandy, you may be wondering if you’re a good candidate for the procedure. The best way to determine if implants are right for you is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Kim at Pinnacle Family Dental.
How Much Are Dental Implants?
The cost of treatment can vary from patient to patient based on the number of implants you will need, and your current dental health. Contact us today to get started, and restore your missing teeth at Pinnacle Family Dental.