Dental implants are changing the way we live. They are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth which look and work like natural teeth. The person who has lost teeth regains the ability to eat virtually anything. Patients appreciate knowing that the teeth will appear natural and can smile and function with confidence.
What are Dental Implants?
The implants are tiny titanium posts placed under the "gums" where teeth are missing. These metal "anchors" act as tooth root substitutes. Bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth which are placed in the same was as a traditional dental crown. Implants help preserve facial structure, preventing the bone from withering away (which occurs when teeth are missing).
The Surgical Procedure:
The placement of dental implants involves a simple surgical procedure. Implants (titanium posts) are inserted under your gums. For three to six months following surgery, the implants are gradually bonding with the jawbone. You will be able to wear temporary dentures during this time. During this time, your permanent replacement teeth are being fabricated.
Once the implant has bonded to the jawbone, the second phase begins. The implants will be uncovered and small posts will be attached. These posts will act as anchors for the artificial teeth. The entire procedure takes a few months. Patients experience minimal disruption in their daily life.
With advances in dental implant technology, single stage implants can be placed. This type of implant does not need a second surgical procedure. Dental implant technology has even made it possible, to extract teeth, and place implants with crowns at the same visit. This process, called “immediate loading”, greatly simplifies the surgical aspect of the procedure.
What types of prostheses (tooth replacements) are available?
- A single crown is used to replace one missing tooth and each prosthetic tooth attaches to its own dental implant.
- A fixed implant bridge can replace two or more teeth and may require only two or three implants.
- A complete dental prosthetic device (fixed bridge) replaces all the teeth in your lower or upper jaw. The number of implants depends on which type of complete prosthesis (removable or fixed) is recommended. A removable prosthesis (overdenture) attaches to a bar or ball with socket attachments, almost like a button. A fixed prosthesis is a permanent attachment, and is removable only by the dentist.
Why dental implants? Dental implants enable you to smile with confidence. They can be your opportunity to achieve renewed self-esteem and peace of mind.
A Swedish orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Per-Ingvar Branemark, developed the concept of implant dentistry more than thirty-five years ago. His pioneering research opened the door to a lifetime of renewed comfort, self-confidence and increased self-esteem for millions of people facing the frustration and embarrassment of tooth loss.
Why would you select dental implants over more traditional types of restorations?
There are several reasons to select dental implants over traditional types of restorations:
- The structure of surrounding teeth does not have to be sacrificed as it does with a fixed bridge. Dental Implants allow one tooth to be replaced without affecting the adjacent teeth.
- A clasp denture (“a partial”) must be removed at night which is often inconvenient. As well, dentures that slip can be discomforting. Dental implants provide a stable base for dentures so that they do not move and they perform more like real teeth.
- When teeth are missing, the bone in the “jaw” begins to deteriorate. Conventional dentures do not prevent this deterioration from occurring, therefore, dentures must be relined periodically. Dental Implants prevent the bone from deteriorating which allows a much more pleasing appearance and significant improvement in chewing when compared to removable dentures.
What type of anesthesia is used?
Most dental implants and bone grafting can be performed in our office under local anesthesia. Should sedation be required, we will discuss the additional sedation options we offer.
Do Implants need special care?
With good oral hygiene habits, and regular hygiene appointments with a dental professional, Implants will remain healthy for many years.
Are you a candidate for implants?
Please call our office today for a FREE consultation. If you are considering implants, your mouth must be examined and your medical and dental history reviewed. We can provide you with the information you will require to make a well informed decision. Dental implants are a permanent and appealing solution to replace missing or extracted teeth.