State College, PA Implant-Supported Tooth Replacement
Dental implants are small, titanium posts that replace the root systems of lost teeth. This represents a significant improvement over traditional tooth replacement methods that only restored those parts of teeth visible when patients smile. At the State College, PA dental office of Kevin P. Labosky, DMD, we encourage any patient missing one or more teeth to schedule a dental implant consultation. We’ll examine your smile, and discuss all of your treatment options. If we discover that dental implant supported tooth replacement is the best option for you, Dr. Labosky will partner with one of our local specialists to surgically place implants and provide a natural looking and feeling prosthetic tooth or teeth. Call our team to schedule your dental implant consultation.
Implant Retained Crowns & Bridges
The first step of the dental implant process is the surgical placement of implant posts below the gum line. For this phase of treatment, we work with a local oral surgeon or periodontist to ensure you receive the safest and highest quality care. The procedure itself is relatively straightforward. A small incision is made in the gums to the jawbone where the implant will be positioned. Once the post is in place, a protective cap is attached to allow the gums to heal properly to accommodate the abutment and replacement tooth or teeth that will be attached during the restoration process. For three to six months, patients undergo a process known as osseointegration where the implant post fuses with the gum and bone tissue mimicking the natural root system of teeth. Once this process is completed, patients return to our office where we’ll attach their custom crafted restoration to the implant post. Those patients replacing one or more consecutive teeth will want to consider an implant supported crown or fixed bridge. A single tooth is replaced by attaching a dental crown to one implant post. In the majority of cases, two consecutive replacement teeth can be fused together and supported by the same implant post. However, for those missing three or four consecutive teeth, a dental implant will be placed at either end for optimal support.
Implant Retained Prosthetics
Patients who have experienced more extensive tooth loss may need a dental implant supported prosthetic. Typically, this includes partial and full dentures. Like their traditional counterparts, implant-retained dentures combine several replacement teeth or a full arch of replacement teeth with a gum-colored base that supports the prosthetic teeth. Partials fill gaps in patients’ smiles, and the thin base is shaped to fit between remaining healthy teeth. Unlike traditional partial dentures that attach to these healthy teeth for support, implant-retained partials are connected to two or more implant posts. Our goal will be to use the optimal number of implants to provide maximal denture stability and minimal surgical impact during placement. Full dentures can usually be supported with four to six strategically positioned dental implant posts. Depending on patient comfort and preference, we may be able to offer fixed or removable dentures supported by dental implants.
Mini Dental Implants
Mini dental implants are just exactly what they sound like, smaller versions of traditional implant posts. We may recommend these for patients who need to replace smaller teeth in the front of the mouth. For these replacement teeth, the smaller implant post is typically closer to the natural structure. Patients who have experienced diminished jawbone density may also benefit from using mini implant posts as they do not require as much bone density to support.
All-on-4 / Teeth-in-a-Day Cases
These unique full implant supported denture techniques allow us to offer implant supported tooth replacement to patients who may not otherwise be good candidates. Rather than distributing implant posts evenly across the jaw line, All-on-4 utilizes the naturally denser bone at the front of the jaw to support the entire denture. Two of the implant posts are placed vertically to support the front of the denture, and two are positioned diagonally to support the back.