Dental Implants

Dental implants are changing the way people live. They are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth that look, feel, and function like natural teeth. The person who has lost teeth regains the ability to eat virtually anything, knowing that teeth appear natural and that facial contours will be preserved. Patients with dental implants can smile with confidence.

Dental Implants Presentation

To provide you with a better understanding of dental implants, we have provided the following multimedia presentation. Many common questions pertaining to dental implants are discussed.

Dental Implants Presentation

What are Dental Implants?

The implants themselves are tiny titanium posts that are surgically placed into the jawbone where teeth are missing. These metal anchors act as tooth root substitutes. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. Small posts (called abutments) that protrude through the gums are then attached to the implant. These abutments provide stable anchors for artificial replacement teeth.

Implants also help preserve facial structure, preventing bone deterioration that occurs when teeth are missing.

The Surgical Procedure

For most patients, the placement of dental implants involves two surgical procedures. First, implants are placed within your jawbone. During an initial healing period, the implants are beneath the surface of the gums gradually bonding with the jawbone. If necessary, you should be able to wear temporary dentures. At the same time, your dentist is forming new replacement teeth.

After the implant has bonded to the jawbone, the second phase begins. We will uncover the implants and attach small abutments that protrude through the gums and will act as anchors for the artificial teeth. When the artificial teeth are placed, these abutments will not be seen as they are covered by your custom made crown and/or denture. The entire procedure usually takes six to eight months. Most patients experience minimal disruption in their daily life.

Surgical Advances

Using the most recent advances in dental implant technology, we are able to place single stage implants. These implants do not require a second procedure to uncover them, but do require a minimum of six weeks of healing time before artificial teeth are placed.

There are even situations where the implants can be placed at the same time as a tooth extraction further minimizing the number of surgical procedures.

Implants are a team effort between an oral and maxillofacial surgeon and a restorative dentist. While our office performs the actual implant surgery, initial tooth extractions, and bone grafting if necessary, the restorative dentist (your dentist) fits and makes the permanent prosthesis. Your dentist will also make any temporary prosthesis needed during the implant process.

What Types Of Prosthesis Are Available?

A single prosthesis (crown) is used to replace one missing tooth each prosthetic tooth attaches to its own implant. In this way, the implant is the dental restoration that will feel most like your natural tooth. A partial prosthesis (fixed bridge) can replace two or more teeth and may require only two or three implants. A complete dental prosthesis (fixed bridge) replaces all the teeth in your upper or lower jaw. The number of implants varies depending upon which type of complete prosthesis (removable or fixed) is recommended. A removable prosthesis (over denture) attaches to a bar or ball in socket attachments, whereas a fixed prosthesis is permanent and removable only by the dentist.

Why Dental Implants?

Once you learn about dental implants, you finally realize there is a way to improve your life. When you lose several teeth whether its a new situation or something you have lived with for years chances are you have never become fully accustomed to losing such a vital part of yourself.

Dental implants can be your doorway to renewed self-confidence and peace of mind. Dental implants can help provide proper support for your mouth and other teeth. Ideally, they increase the health of your mouth and decrease the chance of future dental problems.

Why Select Dental Implants Over More Traditional Types Of Restorations?

There are several reasons: Why sacrifice the structure of surrounding good teeth to bridge a space? In addition, removing a denture or a partial at night may be inconvenient, not to mention that dentures that slip can be uncomfortable and rather embarrassing.

Are You A Candidate For Implants?

If you are considering implants, your mouth must be examined thoroughly and your medical and dental history reviewed. If you mouth is not ideal for implants, ways of improving outcome, such as bone grafting, may be recommended.

What Type Of Anesthesia Is Used?

The majority of dental implants and bone graft can be performed in the office under local anesthesia, with or without general anesthesia.

Do Implants Need Special Care?

Once the implants are in place, they will serve you well for many years if you take care of them and keep your mouth healthy. This means taking the time for good oral hygiene (brushing and flossing) and keeping regular appointments with your dental specialists.