People are living longer than ever, and while regular brushing, flossing, and dental checkups allow many of us to maintain our natural smiles for a lifetime, sometimes our teeth just can't keep up.
If you've lost a tooth (or a few teeth) due to injury or disease, dental implants can rejuvenate both your smile and your oral health.
An implant is a synthetic tooth root in the shape of a post that is surgically placed into the jawbone.
The “root” is usually made of titanium: the same material used in many replacement hips and knees, and a metal that is well-suited to pairing with human bone. A replacement tooth is then fixed to the post. The tooth can be either permanently attached or removable. Permanent teeth are more stable and feel more like natural teeth.
The ideal candidate for implants is a non-smoker who has good oral health, including a sufficient amount of bone in the jaw, and healthy gums with no sign of gum disease.
Our dentists at NorthPointe Family Dental provide the following dental implant services:
- Digital Dental Implant
- Implant Restoration
- Implant Supported Dentures
- Mini Dental Implants
- Implant Services
Single or Multiple Implants
Implants are versatile. If you are only missing one tooth, one implant plus one replacement tooth will do the trick. If you are missing several teeth in a row, a few strategically placed implants can support a permanent bridge (a set of replacement teeth). Similarly, if you have lost all of your teeth, a full dental bridge or full denture can be permanently fixed in your mouth with a strategic number of implants.
Advantages Over Dentures or Dental Bridges
Conventional dental bridges and dentures are not fixed to the bone, and can therefore be unstable. This can make it difficult to eat or smile with confidence. Implants not only look more natural, but feel and act more like normal teeth, with a stronger biting force. And because they don't directly rely on neighboring teeth for support, implants don't compromise the health of your natural teeth. In fact, bridges are only expected to last seven to ten years, even less with root canals, whereas implants will typically last a lifetime.
Consider your replacement teeth to be the same as natural teeth. They require the same daily brushing and flossing, and the same amount of regular checkups. Just like your natural teeth, the better you take care of your replacements, the longer they will last.
If you are interested in hearing more about our dental implant treatments, please contact our Grand Rapids dentists at (616) 288-6134. At Northpointe Family Dental, we want to help you achieve your perfect smile!
What are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is a prosthetic tooth root used to anchor a crown. The implant is typically made of titanium, which is compatible with jawbone tissue. A dental implant provides the stimulation your jawbone needs to stay healthy and avoid further deterioration. Our dental implant dentist will then place a crown on top to give you the appearance of a natural tooth.
Benefits of Implants
A dental implant looks and feels like a natural tooth so you can smile with confidence. We understand that it can be difficult trying to eat and talk with missing teeth, which is why we offer the dental implant procedure to our patients. Unlike dentures, dental implants are rooted in your jawbone so they won’t slip.
Who is a Candidate?
Have you recently lost a tooth? To be a candidate for dental implant surgery, you need enough bone in your jaw to support an implant. The ideal candidate is a non-smoker with healthy gums. Keep in mind that just because you don’t fit the image of the “perfect” candidate doesn’t mean that our dental implant dentist can’t help you. For example, many people are able to restore their smiles with mini dental implants, which don’t require as much jawbone tissue as their full-sized counterparts.
Our Dental Implant Process
1.) Consultation with our Dental Implant Dentist
The first step of any smile makeover is to schedule a consultation with our dental implant dentist. Dr. Yun will take 3D Cone Beam to determine if you are a candidate for the tooth implant procedure.
Your journey will depend on the type of dental implants you choose. While the traditional dental implant process takes several months, mini implants take only one appointment to place.
2.) Treatment Planning
Our dentist uses implant planning software like Trios and 3D Diagnostix to plan your surgery. He is able to take 3D images of your teeth, gums, and jaws so he can precisely plan where to place implants.
Whether you need a single tooth implant or multiple implants, you can count on our dentist to plan every step of your surgery.
3.) Dental Implant Surgery
Unlike other dental implant dentists, Dr. Yun uses minimal incisions to decrease your recovery period and risk of infection. Instead of having to cut the gums down to the bone, he uses 3D scans to check nerve position and the condition of your jawbone.
A surgical guide will have also been created ahead of time so Dr. Yun can precisely place implants. The incisions will be small enough that you won’t need sutures. A temporary crown will be placed over the implant to protect your mouth while it heals.
Once the surgery is complete, our dentist will review post-operative instructions and make sure you understand what you need to do while you recover.
Over the course of several months, your dental implants will fuse to your jawbone in a process called osseointegration. Once this happens, you’ll be ready to come back to our office to have the permanent dental crown placed on top.
All-On-4 and All-On-6 Restorations
Did you know you don’t need dental implants for every missing tooth in your smile? If you are missing all your teeth from your upper or lower arch, our dentist may recommend all on 4 dental implants. After evaluating your jawbone’s condition, our dentist will determine the best places to insert dental implants.
These dental implants will later be used to support an entire arch of false teeth that look and feel natural. You may also choose all on 6 dental implants, which provides better strength and stability. Learn more about All-on-4 and All-on-6 dental implants →
Mini Dental Implants
If you’re not a candidate for the traditional tooth implant process, you’ll want to ask our dentist about mini dental implants. Mini dental implants replace teeth just like their full-sized counterparts while needing less time to place. Our dentist may also recommend mini implants if you don’t want to wait months for tooth replacement. Unlike full-sized dental implants, mini implants can be placed in one visit to our dentist office.
During the procedure, our dentist inserts a titanium post with a ball on the end into your jawbone. The crown has a socket that fits over the ball so our dentist can snap the false tooth into place. Mini dental implants can also be used to anchor permanent dentures.
Implant Supported Dentures
Implant supported dentures are anchored by mini implants so they stay in place. One of the biggest complaints about dentures is that they slip when you’re trying to eat or talk. Since mini implants are placed in the jaw and supported by bone, they’ll help your dentures feel comfortable and look like natural teeth. Implant supported dentures stimulate jawbone tissue to prevent jawbone deterioration and even facial collapse.
Computer Guided Implant Surgery
Our dentist is able to plan your entire treatment after taking 3D scans of your teeth, gums, and jaws. We don’t believe that there should be any surprises during dental implant surgery, which is why we make it our mission to know bone level, bone quantity, and soft tissue conditions. Our dentist also uses surgical guides and implant planning software via Trios and 3D Diagnostix so you receive the best dental care.