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Types of Dental Implants
Richmond, VA


A group of smiling older women with dental implants from Riverwind Dental in Richmond, VAIf you are missing a tooth, dental implants are the best option to restore your oral health. You will be glad to know that dental implants are an option for multiple missing teeth, that we can treat you with here at Riverwind Dental.

What Are Dental Implants?


A dental implant is a titanium post smaller than your thumb. It is surgically placed beneath the gum line to support the jawbone. The post fuses with the jawbone and creates a foundation for tooth restoration.

Your missing tooth still has nerves. The dental implant becomes a root and stimulates bone structure. This helps preserve your dental health. Once the dental implant is placed, restoration begins. This is usually done with a dental crown.

Basic Dental Implants


Subperiosteal, endosteal, and zygomatic are the three most common dental implants. Endosteal is the safest method. Subperiosteal comes next when it comes to complexity. Zygomatic is the last and is rarely recommended. It is mostly advised for people who have lost most of their teeth due to severe trauma.

Endosteal Implants


For support, these implants are placed inside the jaw. The post needs to fuse to a healthy, sound jawbone in order for the majority of patients to be eligible.

When the wound is healed, the replacement teeth are attached to the dental implants. These resemble your natural teeth and blend in well.

Subperiosteal Implants


Subperiosteal implants are placed outside of the jawbone through surgery. They are under the gums but on top of the bone.

The poles that hold the replacement teeth in place originate from the gums. This is a metal frame that extends as a post underneath the gum. The structure holds while the gum surrounding it heals. If the patient lacks sufficient jawbone or is unwilling to have extensive oral surgery to reshape it, this operation is carried out.

Zygomatic Implants


When there is not enough upper jawbone to insert a standard implant, zygomatic implants help support an entire arch of teeth. The zygomatic implant has a more stable base thanks to the process of attaching the dental implant to the cheekbone.

These dental implants are positioned in the jawbone at a 45° angle. They maximize support and stability and eliminate the need for bone grafts. Zygomatic implants are usually longer than standard implants, ranging between 35mm and 55 mm in length.

To find out if dental implants are suitable for you, you will meet with an implant specialist. They will examine your teeth to determine how the implant will be attached.

Single Tooth Dental Implants


A single-tooth dental implant requires one post and crown. Here's how it is attached:
•  Using surgically guided technology, the post is inserted into your mandible. This operation doesn't hurt because the dentist administers anesthesia before the procedure. Three to four months is the average healing period for the post to merge with your bone.
•  After the site has healed, the dentist covers the gap with a custom-designed crown.

Compared to other restoration methods, a single-tooth implant gives you a completely new tooth, from the root to the crown.

Multiple Tooth Dental Implants


For multiple missing teeth that are located side by side, a dental implant-supported bridge is the best option. Here's how it is attached:
•  A bridge is usually made up of two crowns with a prosthetic tooth in the middle. The two crowns support the artificial tooth, forming a bridge.
•  An implant-supported bridge features crowns that link to dental implants rather than to the teeth.
•  The procedure is comparable to a dental implant for a single tooth. However, the middle teeth do not get a dental implant.
•  With an implant-supported bridge, you can safely replace several missing teeth at once without paying for individual tooth replacements.
•  The drawback is that you will lose a small amount of bone mass because not every tooth will get an implant.

Taking Care of Your Implants


Lack of maintenance can lead to various implant problems, such as:
•  Bone loss
•  Pain
•  Inflammation
•  Peri-implantitis

The best way to prevent issues from occurring is a consistent oral hygiene routine.
For long-lasting dental implants and a happy, healthy smile, follow these tips:

Use a Soft Bristle Toothbrush


You will need to change toothbrushes following dental implants. A good fit is a nylon toothbrush. Its bristles are flexible and kind to your dental implants. A Proxabrush is also suitable for cleaning the areas surrounding your dental implants.

Hard-bristled toothbrushes should be avoided as they may harm the implant's surface. Once the implants are attached, you should stop cleaning your mouth with any kind of metal equipment.

Floss Daily


Plaque and food particles that become trapped between teeth are difficult to remove with brushing alone. However, they can be eliminated with flossing.

Plaque can accumulate quickly around implants, affecting your oral health. It's imperative to use floss that is compatible with dental implants. You should floss every day using unwaxed tape or other floss made specifically for implants.

Use Mouthwash


Mouthwashes with antimicrobial ingredients can aid in preventing the growth of bacteria. These mouthwashes can lower implant infection risk. If you are unsure about using a mouthwash, be sure to consult with us.

Avoid Hard and Sticky Foods


Hard and sticky foods can damage your implants. For example, biting into a caramel candy can crack or chip your implant. Here are some foods you must avoid:
•  Crusty bread (French bread)
•  Caramel
•  Ice 
•  Dried fruit
•  Hardshell tacos
•  Hard candies
•  Potato chips
•  Apples
•  Carrots
•  Steak

Book an Appointment


We want to help you with your smile and ensure your dental implants last a lifetime. Do not hesitate to contact us immediately if you have any concerns.

Riverwind Dental is an expert in placing dental implants. Talk to Dr. T. James Dix to know what kind of dental implant will suit you best. For more information, call (804) 280-0853.

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