Implant Dentistry in Appleton, WI
People are living longer than ever, and while regular brushing, flossing, and checkups allow many of us to maintain our natural smiles for a lifetime, sometimes our teeth just can't keep up. Implants are a great option, provided right here at Elite Smiles Dental, to replace missing teeth or teeth that will need removal due to irreparable fractures, extensive decay, or trauma. Dental implants with Drs. Dale Scharine and Alissa Edwards in Appleton, WI are a great way to restore missing teeth, rejuvenating both your smile and your oral health.
What is a dental implant?
An implant is an artificial tooth root that is placed in the jaw in order to replace a tooth or teeth, or sometimes, to stabilize a denture. 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 tooth restoration, or crown, is then fixed to the post. The restoration can be either permanently attached or removable. Permanent restorations are more stable and feel more like natural teeth.
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 bridge or full denture can be permanently fixed in your mouth with a strategic number of implants.
Dental Implants vs Dentures and Bridges
- The instability of conventional bridges and dentures 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.
- Implants don’t compromise the health of your natural teeth since they don’t rely on neighboring teeth for support. Dental implants are integrated (fused) to the jaw bone, whereas dentures rest on the soft tissue and remaining teeth and bridges affix to the adjacent teeth.
- Implants from Elite Smiles Dental will typically last a lifetime if they’re cared for properly, while bridges usually only last ten years.
Dental Implant Services
The implant services available at Elite Smiles Dental include:
- Sinus Lift Augmentation: Often the sinuses will enlarge following loss of the upper back teeth. This can preclude placement of dental implants in the upper back areas of the mouth, since the sinus is an air-filled space and dental implants need to be surrounded by solid bone. A sinus lift augmentation/graft is a surgical procedure that restores the sinus cavity to its original size, and replaces the bone that has been lost as a result of the enlarged sinus. This new bone graft typically takes nine to 12 months to heal before Drs. Scharine or Edwards can place the dental implants into the grafted bone.
- Autogenous Bone Grafting:Occasionally, the ideal areas for dental implants do not have sufficient bone quantity to support the implants. In these cases, it is often necessary to “borrow” bone from another area of your mouth and graft it into the deficient area. Often, the area of choice is from the chin or in the back of the jaw where your wisdom teeth used to be.
- Dental Implant Site Development:When a tooth needs to be removed due to infection, it is not uncommon to have lost bone around the infected tooth. In these cases, various types of bone grafting can be done at the same time the tooth is removed to facilitate the placement of a dental implant at our Appleton, WI dental office at a later date.
- Computer-Enhanced Treatment Planning: Elite Smiles Dental has special software on our computer that allows us to evaluate your dental CT scan in three dimensions for bone quality, bone quantity, and bone location, enabling the best possible placement of your dental implants.
Dental Implant Maintenance
Once your dental implant restoration is completed, it is important to keep the area clean and infection-free. Dental implants can accumulate plaque and tartar just as teeth can. Whether you have just one tooth replaced by an implant or several, professional cleanings at our Appleton, WI dental office will be necessary to keep your implants healthy. The time interval for these professional cleanings will be determined by Drs. Scharine and Edwards according to your individual needs.
Are you a candidate for dental implants? 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.
During your implant consultation at our Appleton dental office, our financial coordinator will go over your insurance and help you maximize what benefits are available. Schedule an appointment and find out if dental implants from Elite Smiles Dental are right for you!