Dental implants are changing the way we live. They are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth which look and function like natural teeth. A 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?
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 (crowns). Implants help to restore facial structure, prevent the jawbone from deteriorating (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 and your permanent replacement teeth will be 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.
What types of prostheses (tooth replacements) are available using implants?
- 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.
Why dental implants?
Dental implants are the next best thing to your healthy, natural teeth. They are built to last, making them a long-term, cost effective solution to tooth loss. They help to maintain the jawbone, preventing it from losing its strength and firmness. Implants enable you to speak easy, eat your favorite foods again, and enable you to smile with confidence. They can be your opportunity to achieve renewed self-esteem and peace of mind.
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. 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 like natural teeth.
- When teeth are missing, the bone in the “jaw” begins to deteriorate. Dental Implants prevent the jawbone from deteriorating.
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?
Good oral hygiene habits, and regular hygiene appointments with a dental professional, will help implants to remain healthy for many years.
Are you a candidate for implants?
Please call our office today for a FREE consultation. We will examine your mouth, review your medical and dental history, and provide you with the information you will require to make a well informed decision.