Implant Restorations

Dental implants represent a significant technological advance in tooth replacement technology. These structurally complete prosthetics consist of both a root-like structure and a crown (or multiple crowns) for a natural appearance.

This treatment method is associated with numerous benefits, including greater stability and functionality. Dental implants are more comfortable than traditional alternatives, and they can help you smile with confidence again.

Dental implant restorations can be custom designed to blend in with your remaining teeth if you have a small number of teeth to replace. They can also vastly improve on your smile if you are replacing an entire upper or lower arch, or both.

Why are implant-supported restorations more durable?

Dental implants are unique because these small titanium cylinders are inserted into the patient’s jaw in order to replace the root of a missing tooth. Over several months after implant placement, the surrounding bone tissue will fuse with the implant’s titanium surface.

dental implant restorations | Midtowne Smiles | Grand Rapids, MI

That osseointegration process renders the dental implant a permanent fixture in the patient’s jaw. It is able to function similarly to a biological tooth’s root, which includes anchoring the jawbone.

As such, the shape of the jawbone remains constant. This differs from a conventional bridge or denture, which allows the jawbone to erode because the roots are not replaced. As that happens, the jaw’s contour changes and the appliance loses its fit. This does not happen with an implant-supported appliance.

Will my implant restorations look natural?

Implant restorations are carefully crafted according to the specifications of each particular patient. By producing such a unique prosthetic, the natural aesthetic of the patient’s smile can be preserved.

The materials used in implant restorations share numerous optical qualities with biological enamel for optimal appearance. The shade and shape of the implant-supported crown or bridge can be tailored to either blend in with surrounding teeth or designed to improve on the biological smile in the case of dentures.

Do dental implants fail?

Although dental implants tend to be far more stable than conventional restorations, patients still can develop problems with these devices. Overall, such issues are very rare, especially when the patient maintains dental implants as instructed. However, the following problems can occur:

  • Damaged restorations: An implant-supported crown, bridge or denture can get cracked or chipped.
  • Lost restorations: A patient can lose a crown and need to have it replaced.
  • Loose dental implants: Dental implants can become loose if the bone that is supporting them is compromised for some reason.

If you develop any issues with your dental implants, you should contact our office as soon as possible to get the devices repaired. Acting quickly to get treatment will improve your chances of good outcomes.

Common Dental Implants Questions

How do I care for my dental implants?

Part of the convenience associated with dental implants is ease of maintenance. Good oral hygiene habits that help to preserve the health of your biological teeth will go a long way in the upkeep of your dental implants, as well. Brush and floss your teeth or clean around the gum line if you have dentures. Advanced gum disease represents the biggest threat to your dental implants, so do everything possible to reduce your chances of developing this condition.

Why do dental implants become loose?

Dental implants may become loose for a couple of reasons. The initial osseointegration may have been incomplete. That is, the bone tissue may have failed to fuse completely with the implant after it was placed initially. In such cases, a dental implant can become loose after some time.

Alternatively, the patient may develop a condition that compromises the integrity of the bone sometime after osseointegration has completed. This phenomenon is typically due to severe gum disease that has moved past the gum tissue and attacked the underlying bone.

What do I do if my dental implant has become loose?

If your dental implant becomes loose, do not delay in contacting our office to pursue treatment. The situation will not get better on its own. We will evaluate your case and then recommend treatment, which may involve removing and replacing the dental implant and/or performing a bone graft to supplement the available bone tissue at the implant site. For some patients, a bone graft is needed to ensure complete osseointegration so that they don’t experience a subsequent dental implant failure.

What does dental implant repair involve?

The extent of the repairs will be determined by the nature of the defect. If a restoration is chipped or cracked, Dr. Burton may be able to repair it while it is still attached to the dental implant. If the patient is able to save a lost crown, it may be possible to reattach it to the implant. Sometimes, a new crown will need to be crafted, however.