Dental implants are changing the way people live. They are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth which 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.
What are Dental Implants?
Implants are titanium cylinders that are inserted into the jaw bone where teeth are missing. They act as anchors or tooth root substitutes. The bone heals around the titanium implant creating a strong foundation for the artificial tooth. This process is called osseointegration. Small posts are then attached to the implant, which protrude through the gums. These posts provide a base for the artificial teeth to attach.
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 jaw bone. For the first four (lower jaw) and six (upper jaw) months following surgery, the implants are beneath the surface of the gums gradually bonding with the jaw bone. You should be able to wear temporary dentures and eat a soft diet during this time.
After the implants have bonded to the jaw bone, the second phase begins. Your surgeon will uncover the implants and attach small posts, which will act as anchors for the artificial teeth. These posts protrude the gums. Your dentist will then fabricate the teeth (crowns or denture) to fit over the posts. The entire procedure usually takes five to seven months. Most patients experience minimal disruption in their daily life.
Using the most recent advances in dental implant technology, our office is able to place single stage implants. These implants do not require a second procedure to uncover them, but do require a minimum of six to eight weeks healing time before artificial teeth are placed. There are even times when implants can be placed at the same time as a tooth extraction. Special circumstances are required for these procedures.
Our office will perform a thorough clinical examination, take digital radiographs, we have the latest technology to take 3 Dimensional x-rays in specific cases and take impressions of your existing dentition to consider your implant treatment options.