Dental implants are metal rods or frames that are surgically placed in the jawbone below your gums. Once in place, they allow your dentist to attach replacement teeth.
Because the implants fuse with your jawbone, they provide stable support for the artificial teeth. Dentures and bridges mounted on implants do not slip or move in your mouth, a benefit that is especially important when you eat and talk. This way, dentures and bridges – as well as individual crowns placed on implants – look more natural than conventional solutions.
For some people, ordinary bridges and dentures are simply uncomfortable and can lead to painful sores and thinning of the ridges. In addition, conventional bridges must be attached to the teeth on either side of the space left by the missing tooth. With implants, no adjacent teeth need to be prepared or ground down to fit your replacement tooth.
Gum grafting helps to address problems related to receding gums and exposed tooth roots. Patients may notice that their teeth appear abnormally longer or are often sensitive to heat and cold.
Gum recession can occur gradually or be the result of aggressive tooth brushing and even periodontal disease. Gum grafting will help prevent further tissue and bone loss, reduce tooth sensitivity, and protect the roots of your teeth from decay. If left untreated, recession can lead to tooth decay, plaque build-up and loss of supporting bone.
Aesthetically, grafts create an even gum line and give patients the confidence to talk and smile with all their teeth.
Bone augmentation is a term used to describe a variety of procedures used to “rebuild” the bone, enabling dental implantation. These procedures usually involve “grafting” or adding bone (or similar material) to the bone in the jaw.
The graft is harvested from the patient’s body or bone. After the procedure, patients must wait several months for the graft material to amalgamate with the existing bone.
There are several procedures for bone augmentation. Dr. Attaran will choose one depending on the type, location and number of implants. She usually waits four to nine months before placing the implants.
Sometimes called sinus augmentation, sinus lift is a surgical procedure to add bone to the upper jaw, in the area of the molars and premolars. The procedure has become more common in the last 15 years as more people choose dental implants to replace their missing teeth.
The added bone is placed between the patient’s jaw and the maxillary sinuses, which are on either side of the nose. The sinus membrane must be “lifted” or moved upwards to make room for the bone.
The procedure is necessary when the sinuses are too close to the jaw, or if there is not enough bone height in the upper jaw to place dental implants. After sinus elevation, patients must wait four to nine months (depending on the graft material used) for the bone material to integrate into the jaw.
Patients may feel swelling in the area of the procedure and see Dr. Attaran seven to 10 days after surgery, who will assess the surgical site and remove stitches if they have not dissolved naturally. Patients may return a few times to make sure the operated area is healing well.