Dental implants are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth that look, feel, and function like natural teeth. Dental implants are an ideal option for people in good general oral health who have lost a tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease, an injury, or some other reason. The implants themselves are tiny titanium posts that are placed into the jawbone where teeth are missing. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. In addition, implants can help preserve facial structure, preventing the bone deterioration that occurs when teeth are missing.
While high-tech in nature, dental implants are actually more tooth-saving than traditional bridgework, since implants do not rely on neighboring teeth for support.
Dental implants are changing the way people live! With them, people are rediscovering the comfort and confidence to eat, speak, laugh and enjoy life.
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 (please also see Dental Videos section of the website).
What dental implants can do for you?
• Replace one or more teeth without affecting adjacent teeth.
• Support a bridge and eliminate the need for a removable partial denture.
• Provide support for a full-denture, making it more secure and comfortable.
• Endosteal (in the bone): This is the most commonly used type of implant (root shape). Each implant holds one or more prosthetic teeth. This type of implant is generally used as an alternative for patients with bridges or removable dentures.
Advantages of dental implants over dentures or
Dental implants are a better solution to the problem of missing teeth.
• Esthetic Dental implants look and feel like your own teeth! Since dental implants integrate into the structure of your bone, they prevent the bone loss and gum recession that often accompany bridgework and dentures.
• Reliable The success rate of dental implants is highly reliable.
• Tooth-saving Dental implants don’t sacrifice the quality of your adjacent teeth like a bridge does because neighboring teeth are not altered to support the implant. More of your own teeth are left untouched, a significant long-term benefit to your oral health!
• Confidence Dental implants will allow you to once again speak and eat with confidence!
Are you a candidate for dental implants?
The ideal candidate for a dental implant is in good general and oral health. Adequate bone in your jaw is needed to support the implant, and the best candidates have healthy gum tissues that are free of gum disease.
• Replacing a single tooth If you are missing a single tooth, one implant and a crown can replace it. A dental implant replaces both the lost natural tooth and its root.
• Replacing several teeth If you are missing several teeth, implant-supported bridges can replace them.
• Replacing all of your teeth If you are missing all of your teeth, an implant-supported full bridge or full denture can replace them.
• Ridge Augmentation Deformities in the upper or lower jaw can leave you with inadequate bone in which to place dental implants. To correct the problem, the gum is lifted away from the ridge to expose the bony defect. The defect is then filled with bone graft to build up the ridge. Ridge augmentation has been shown to greatly improve appearance and increase your chances for successful implants that can last for years to come.
• Sinus Augmentation A key to implant success is the quantity and quality of the bone where the implant is to be placed. The upper back jaw has been one of the most difficult areas to successfully place dental implants due to insufficient bone quantity and quality and the close proximity to the sinus. Sinus elevation can help correct this problem by raising the floor of the sinus and developing bone for the placement of dental implants.
For most patients, the placement of dental implants involves two surgical procedures. First, implants are placed within your jawbone. Healing time following surgery varies from person to person, based on a variety of factors that include quality of the bone.
For the first three to four months following surgery, the implants are beneath the surface of the gums gradually bonding with the bone. You should be able to wear temporary dentures and eat a soft diet during this time. At the same time, your restorative dentist designs the final bridgework or denture, which will ultimately improve both function and aesthetics.
After the implant has bonded to the jawbone, the second phase begins and the doctor will uncover the implants and attach a small healing collar. After two to three weeks your general dentist will be able to start making your new teeth. An impression must be taken. Then posts or attachments can be connected to the implants. The teeth replacements are then made over the posts or attachments. The entire procedure usually takes six to eight months. Most patients do not experience any disruption in their daily life.
What can I expect following treatment?
As you know, your own teeth require home oral care (brushing and flossing) and regular dental visits. Dental implants are like your own teeth and will require the same care.
Periodic follow-up visits will be scheduled to monitor your implant, teeth and gums to make sure they are healthy..