Philadelphia dentist Dr. Len Tau recommends dental implants and implant-retained devices for patients with missing teeth. Unlike alternative restorations, dental implants stimulate bone to maintain a healthy, strong jaw. At a consultation, Dr. Tau inspects the condition of the jawbone and gums to determine if the patient is a good candidate for implant surgery.
Implant-retained devices, such as crowns, crown and bridges, or dentures, snap onto the dental posts to establish a secure restoration. When these devices are used without an implant, bone isn’t stimulated; therefore it begins to wear down. An unused jawbone can lead to structural facial changes.
What Are Dental Implants?
A dental implant resembles a screw and is made of biocompatible titanium. The post is surgically imbedded into viable jawbone through a small incision in the gums. Because this procedure is surgical, Dr. Tau must deem you fit for surgery before beginning. He will review your medical history to determine if this treatment is appropriate for you.
After dental implants are placed, Dr. Tau waits four to six months before he attaches the custom-made restorative device. During this time, the implants merge with surrounding tissue and bone through osseointegration.
Dental Implant Candidacy
Aside from a strong, healthy jawbone and gums, ideal dental implant candidates must commit to proper maintenance after the surgery. Maintenance depends on which restorative device is used. However, twice daily brushing and flossing will ensure long-lasting results and a healthy, beautiful smile.
Implant-retained dentures should be removed each night for proper cleaning. Dr. Tau encourages patients to brush the prosthetic device, gums, and implants. Floss around each dental post to remove bacteria and trapped food particles.
Crowns and bridges are cleaned just as natural teeth are. Patients with these devices should brush and floss every morning and night.
Dr. Tau encourages dental implant candidates to refrain from using tobacco products after surgery. Avid smokers are encouraged to attempt to stop smoking, for better results.
If you want dental implants, but don’t have a strong jawbone, Philadelphia dentist Dr. Tau recommends bone grafting. During this surgery, healthy bone tissue is taken from another part of your body or donor tissue is used to build a viable foundation for the implants.
How Are Dental Implants Used?
Although dental implants can be used in numerous situations, they’re commonly used for replacing missing teeth. A crown and one implant replace a single missing tooth, while one to three missing teeth are corrected with an implant-retained crown and bridge device.
Entire rows of teeth are replaced with dentures. Dr. Tau places two dental implants into the upper jawbone and two into the lower, to establish a strong foundation for implant-retained dentures. Collectively, this procedure is referred to as All-On-Four dental implants or dentures.
Traditional dentures often shift and slide on top of gums, which causes irritation. Implant-retained dentures are securely affixed to the posts to prevent movement. Additionally, denture patients often fear that their prosthetic teeth will fall out. However, when dentures are snapped onto dental implants, they won’t move or embarrassingly fall out during mealtime.