What are dental implants?
A dental implant is a prosthetic replacement for a missing tooth. There are commonly three parts to what is described as an “implant” – the dental implant itself, which is inserted into the jawbone and serves as the “root” of the tooth; the abutment – the component that connects the dental implant to the third part – the overlying tooth or teeth, that you see in your mouth.
The dental implants placed at Atlas Dental Specialists are made of a titanium alloy, a metal that is biocompatible and offers strength and durability as well as the unique property of fusing directly to bone – the process known as osseointegration. These same materials have been used for decades for hip, shoulder, and knee implants.
Do all dentists place dental implants?
While many dentists surgically place dental implants, certain dental specialists have advanced training in dental implants. Oral surgeons, periodontists, and prosthodontists all receive formalized advanced training in dental implant surgeries. However, only prosthodontists have advanced formalized training in both implant surgeries and implant restorations. Both Drs. Nicholas and Mara Mangini are Prosthodontists that were trained at the University of Pittsburgh following their completion of dental school. They are highly capable of managing and executing all aspects of dental implant therapy.
Can I Get a Dental Implant?
At Atlas Dental Specialists, we are able to offer dental implants to patients presenting with failing teeth, a missing tooth or teeth, or even patients looking to provide better stability to an existing denture. Dr. Mangini has even been able to help patients who have been previously told dental implants were not possible. While some patients may require procedures to supplement the amount of natural bone to support a dental implant, there are very few instances where dental implants are not possible.
What are the Advantages of Implant Dentistry?
If you are wondering why more patients are becoming interested in this innovative technology, here are the top benefits of dental implants:
- Prevents bone loss in the jaw area
- Matches and supports surrounding natural teeth
- Prevents facial hollowing
- Enables natural speech and restores normal chewing ability
- Implants cannot decay like natural teeth
- Require the same hygiene care as natural teeth
- A lifetime solution to tooth loss
- Restores appearance and confidence in your smile!
What Can Dental Implants be Used for?
Drs. Nicholas and Mara Mangini are able to offer a number of different solutions utilizing dental implants:
Single Tooth Replacement
- A single tooth implant is anchored into your mouth using a titanium post that is implanted into your jaw. The “tooth” is then built to connect directly to the implant. Because a single tooth implant is anchored by the post placed into your jaw, the surrounding teeth are left alone and perfectly intact and can preserve the integrity of your jawbone.
- An implant-supported bridge offers an alternative to a partial denture or “flipper”. Two or more posts are implanted into your jawbone to help secure your new teeth in place. They provide you with a permanent, natural feeling, long-term replacement for multiple missing teeth.
Full Arch Restoration
- At Atlas Dental Specialists, we can even replace an entire arch of teeth using dental implants. This type of restoration typically uses between 4 and 6 posts to secure your teeth into your mouth, providing you with a stable, more natural feeling alternative to a traditional denture. Some full-arch options “snap” into place and can be removed for cleaning purposes while others are “fixed” in place and can only be removed by your dentist. Benefits include enhanced stability, natural-looking, easily cleanable, and comfortable.
What is “Teeth in a Day”?
Teeth in a Day is a treatment protocol offered at Atlas Dental Specialists that allows for the placement of dental implants into your mouth paired with delivery of a full set of teeth on the same day. This set of teeth is a temporary set to be worn and used while your jawbone heals and the permanent set of teeth is made. This protocol involves the following:
- Diagnostic Workup and Imaging
- Teeth in a Day starts with diagnostic imaging. This may include such things as digital x-rays, 3D CT scans, and 3D imaging of your remaining teeth. The imaging allows us to evaluate your jawbone and make sure this treatment is best for you. Dr. Mangini can see where your jawbone may be deficient or where it is the strongest, allowing him to plan the best possible number and locations for your dental implants to support your teeth.
- Planning your Surgery
- Planning your surgery includes the design and creation of what is known as a surgical guide. Dr. Mangini uses your 3D CT scan and intraoral imaging to digitally design and fabricate a 3D-printed guide that serves as a surgical template for placing your implants. It allows the implants to be placed into the exact planned location and avoid anatomic features such as nerves, sinuses, or voids in the jawbone. Utilizing a surgical guide minimizes the risk for errors and allows for a more conservative, less invasive surgery. This also reduces post-surgical discomfort and potential downtime.
- Day of Surgery
- On the day of your surgery, Dr. Mangini utilizes the surgical guide to place 4 to 6 dental implants into your mouth. A new set of teeth will be ready to secure to your implants. This set of teeth will allow you to speak normally and eat most foods right away.
- Follow-Up Appointment
- Dental implants do require that we see you for a follow-up to ensure your teeth are comfortable and your implants are healing properly. Before we attach your final permanent set of teeth, the process of osseointegration (bone healing) must be completed. This generally takes between 2 and 4 months and ensures successful treatment. In most cases, dental implants can be relied upon to last a lifetime.
How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?
The cost of a dental implant is often dictated largely by your insurance carrier. This can vary greatly from one policy to another. Costs also differ between a single implant, multiple implants, and the number of teeth we are replacing. Atlas Dental Specialists offers a number of financing options that can make any dental implant treatment affordable. Contact us to schedule a complimentary consultation to learn more!