General Family Dentist | Milwaukie, Oak Grove, Gladstone, Happy Valley and Portland, OR

Kevin H. Speer, D.D.S.
2250 SE Oak Grove Blvd.
Milwaukie, OR 97267
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5 Facts About Dental Implants

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Are you curious about dental implants? Do you have missing teeth that you would like to restore using dental implants? Do you know how they work? If you are considering dental implants, here are five facts about dental implants. 

They Can Be Placed in a Single Appointment

Dental implants and the dental prosthetic can be placed during a single appointment. This is called same day implants, teeth in a day, or immediate load implants. In some cases, however, a second appointment may be needed to place the dental prosthetic. If a second appointment is needed, then the implant is considered to be a two-stage implant. For more information about the aftercare required, see “Recovery From Implants”.

Subperiosteal Implant
Subperiosteal Implant

There Are Different Types

Most people are familiar with endosteal dental implants. Endosteal dental implants are composed of a titanium screw that is embedded into the jawbone, an abutment or attachment piece, and a dental prosthetic that is attached to the implant. However, there are also subperiosteal dental implants that are composed of a metal framework that rests on top of the jawbone just below the gum line. Unfortunately, subperiosteal implants are not as strong as endosteal implants, however there are some cases where they may be the preferred treatment option. 

Osseointegration Makes Them Strong

Osseointegration is the process by which the jawbone around the dental implant fuses with the implant. When fusion occurs, the dental implant essentially becomes part of the jawbone. As such, this process is necessary for treatment success and for the implant’s strength. Once in place, dental implants can last for up to 20 years. 

They Have a Variety of Sizes

Many people don’t realize that dental implants actually come in more than one size. Although most dental implants are the standard size, this is not the only size dental implants come it. Dental implants also come in mini or wide sizes. The standard size of a dental implant is 3.5 mm to 4.2 mm in diameter. Wide platform dental implants, on the other hand, are larger with a size of 4.5 mm to 6 mm in diameter. Because of their larger size, wide platform dental implants are generally used when restoring the rear molars. Mini dental implants (MDIs) are smaller than standard implants and have a measurement of  2 mm to 3.5 mm. They are also sometimes referred to as narrow dental implants because they are “skinnier” than standard dental implants. Because of their small size, MDIs are used for patients lacking bone mass or for those who have tight spaces between their teeth roots. 

Dental implant shown from side in jawbone

They Preserve Your Jawbone

When you have missing teeth, a process called bone resorption begins to take place about six months after the tooth is lost. Because the missing tooth is no longer stimulating the jawbone with the force of chewing, the body begins to absorb the bone tissue so that it can be used elsewhere. If this process goes on long enough, it can completely alter the facial bone structure. Since dental implants are placed in the tooth socket and provide the same type of jawbone stimulation as natural teeth, they prevent the bone from being absorbed and preserve the shape and structure of the jawbone. 

At the end of the day, dental implants can provide patients with an ideal treatment for restoring missing teeth. Their versatility in terms of placement, size, and type allow for a level of customization to the patient’s needs. The process that dental implants use also allows them to provide more strength and last longer than other restorative methods. For more information on dental implants, see our Implant Retained Prosthetics page.

Dr. Speer prides himself on excellence in all aspects of dentistry. He stays up to date on the latest technologies by attending various continuing education courses throughout the year. He also enjoys volunteering his time and expertise at events, such as Portland Mission of Mercy. He is a member of the Clackamas County Dental Society, Oregon Dental Association, the American Dental Association, and the Academy of General Dentistry. He is also the former President of the Oregon Chapter of Delta Sigma Delta, an international Dental Fraternity.

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