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Discover Dental Implants


What are dental implants?

An implant is a small titanium device that is inserted into the jaw to replace the root of a missing tooth. During the healing process, usually 2-4 months, bone will grow around the implant and fuse it to the jawbone. Once healing is complete, the implant will provide a solid foundation for a new crown. Your dentist will instruct the lab to make your crown and then attach it to your implant.

What Are the Advantages of Dental Implants?

  • Dental implants help to preserve the integrity of the jawbone. The purpose of your jawbone is to support your teeth and facial contours. Your teeth and, specifically, the roots, give the jawbone its functional purpose. When you lose a tooth or multiple teeth, the bone begins to melt away, or resorb. By replacing the root once again, the jawbone will function as it did before.
  • Dental implants are now considered the standard of care to replace a single missing tooth.
  • Dental implants are a more conservative treatment option than a bridge since the adjacent teeth to the missing tooth are not irreversibly modified in preparation for a 3-unit bridge. A bridge requires filing down the two healthy teeth on each side of the missing tooth so that they may act as anchors (posts) for a bridge.
  • Dental implants typically last longer than any other replacement option. Studies show that the typical tooth-supported bridge lasts from 7-10 years and that over time the modified teeth (anchors) of the bridge may be lost.
  • Dental implants do not decay or require root canals.
  • Dental implants can improve a person's comfort, appearance, speech, and the ability to taste food.
  • A person's overall quality of life can be enhanced with implants and replacement teeth that look, feel, and function like natural teeth.
 
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Who is a candidate for dental implants?

  • With the exception of children who's jaws are still growing, dental implants can be a solution for everyone.
  • Bone loss is a factor in qualifying patients for dental implants. However, there are many techniques and products we can utilize to create new bone to support an implant.
  • Patients who smoke or have uncontrolled diabetes can hinder the success of implants.

What are the steps in placing dental implants?

  • Your general dentist will refer you to our practice for a consultation with one of our qualified and experienced surgeons. The doctor will review x-rays and perform a clinical exam to determine if you are a candidate for implants. The doctor will also determine if other procedures might be needed in conjunction with the implant.
  • Once a treatment plan has been determined and discussed with your dentist, we will place the implant.
  • The procedure involves making an incision in the gums and placing the implant into the jawbone.
  • Most of the time we are able to attach a small cylindrical cover cap, or healing abutment, on the implant. This is called a single-stage implant placement. In some cases, this is not appropriate and the implants will need to be covered with gum tissue during the healing time. This two-stage placement will require a second small procedure to uncover the implant to attach the healing abutment.
  • If any bone augmentation is required, this will be done either separately from the implant procedure or simultaneously, depending on your particular situation.
  • If a tooth extraction is required as part of your treatment, this will usually be done as the first step, a healing time of 2-3 months will elapse, then the implant will be placed. Sometimes, we are able to place the implant simultaneously with the extraction.
  • Once your treatment with our office is finalized, your dentist will take impressions of the implant and send this mold to the laboratory for the prosthesis to be made. Your dentist will insert the final prosthesis.

We practice the team approach to implant treatment for our patients

  • Your dentist has referred you to our practice because our doctors are highly qualified and experienced surgical specialists.
  • Our doctors work directly with your dentist to formulate a treatment plan that is specific to your dental health needs.
  • The quality of your care is the most important aspect of your experience with our practice. We strive provide the best service and maintain your confidence by achieving successful outcomes.

What types of prostheses are available to restore implants?

  • Single crowns: a single crown is attached to a single implant.
  • Implant-supported bridges: multiple teeth can be bridged together and attached to 2 or more implants. It is not always necessary to replace each missing tooth with an implant.
  • Implant-supported dentures: 2 or more implants are placed and a denture is made to either be removable by the patient or affixed to the implants. If the implant supported denture is affixed to the implants, it can only be removed by your dentist.

Will I ever be without teeth during the implant treatment?

  • No! Your dentist will provide a temporary prothesis that will act as a replacement until the implant(s) can be restored. You will never have to go without teeth during this process.

Our success story

  • Dental implants are one of the most predictable and successful procedures in dentistry.
  • Our practice success rate of 98-99% exceeds the world wide success rate of 95%. We have maintained this level of success for over 6 years!
  • There are occasional failures and these can be addressed on a case by case basis. Typically the implant is replaced at no cost.

You may also find more information and answers to your questions about dental implants at the non-profit website www.MissingTeeth.org.