Restorative/Implant Dentistry

Restorative Dentistry

older couple smiling outdoorsOur doctors and dental implant dentists are trained in dental implants and proudly serve the Chattanooga, TN area. If you are generally healthy and have healthy gums and an adequate jawbone to support an implant, your dentist may recommend implant treatment as a suitable option for replacing missing teeth.

Originally developed half a century ago by a Swedish scientist named Per-Ingvar Branemark, implants initially arose from the patient’s need to secure loose-fitting dentures. Engineering and enhancements to the implant have enabled dentists to expand its’ usefulness, including the replacement of missing or lost teeth.

Implants are made of titanium and other biologically compatible materials.

Today, implant techniques offer a broad range of replacement solutions including:

  • Single Tooth Replacement
  • Anterior Replacement
  • Posterior Replacement
  • Full Upper Replacement

Types of Implants

There are two main types of implants:

  • The root implant
  • The plate form implant

The root implant is by far the most popular. It is a highly effective treatment option; enabling your dentist to place a tooth that mirrors the shape and size of your natural tooth. This procedure is generally a three-part process. First, your dentist will surgically place the implant or artificial root into the jawbone following local anesthesia. It will take approximately three to six months for the implant to heal and fuse with the bone. This process is known as osseointegration. Once this happens, a post will be attached to the implant. Once the gum tissue heals around the post, the implant is fitted with a crown.

The plate form implant is ideal in situations where the jawbone is so narrow that it could not adequately support a root implant. The plate form implant is flat and long, so it can anchor into thin jawbones. It is inserted the same way as a root implant. In certain cases, the plate form implant is immediately fitted with the restoration without waiting for the healing process to run its course.

Dental Implants As a Treatment Option

If the missing tooth space has no surrounding teeth, the dentist may decide an implant is the most appropriate treatment choice or option.

Post Implant Care

Although proper oral hygiene is always recommended for maintaining good dental health, it is especially important when a patient has received a dental implant. Bacteria can attack sensitive areas in the mouth when teeth and gums are not properly cleaned, thus causing gums to swell and jawbones to gradually recede. Recession of the jawbone will weaken implants and eventually make it necessary for the implant to be removed. Patients are advised to visit their dentists at least twice a year to ensure the health of their teeth and implants. Dental implants can last for decades when given proper care.