About Dental Implants
Dental implants have been available for the past 50 years or so but there have been significant changes to design and technology that have greatly improved their success making implants one of the premier solutions for missing teeth.
Whether it is to replace a single tooth, multiple teeth or stabilize a denture to reduce tissue irritation implants can accomplish all these tasks. In contrast to a bridge, where we are obligated to remove adjacent tooth structure, implants allow us to preserve the tooth structure of these adjacent teeth.
A natural tooth is fixed to jour jawbone through the delicate balance between your bone and a fine periodontal ligament surrounding your tooth. The process of placing an implant requires an incredible amount of knowledge relating to clinical decisions and proper implant selection. With our advanced knowledge in this area we are able to offer the surgical placement of implants and restoration of the final crown entirely within our office. This allows for the seamless delivery of the entire procedure and enhances communication between the implantologist and the restorative dentist
What does an implant consist of?
Dental implants consists of three portions: the surgical titanium implant that is implanted directly into your jaw, an abutment which is used to attach a prosthetic tooth and finally a porcelain or porcelain fused to metal crown. The implant is specially coated with a material that stimulates new bone formation at the interface between the implant and the bone surface. This process is termed osseointegration and will be the foundation for your new tooth.
Healthy gums and healthy bone are important considerations when we are considering the use of implants. It is no longer acceptable to use a two-dimensional image when diagnosing a case for adequate bone levels and that’s why we use iCAT cone beam technology to create a 3D model of your underlying bone structure. This allows us to complete your treatment with precision but more importantly safety.
Replacement of Several Missing Teeth
In contrast to regular dentures or partial dentures, which can be problematic because of slippage over the gums causing painful irritation, dental implants can now be used to anchor partial or full dentures. Patients often say that their teeth feel much more like their original teeth because they have the ability to eat normally again. With implant anchorage there is much less plastic that needs to be used in the final prosthesis making it much more manageable in the mouth.
How complicated is the surgery?
The surgery is completed in two stages. It is definitely complicated but greatly simplified through years of training and 3D cone beam technology. The first stage involves placement of the implant. Following healing of three to four months we can effectively load the implant with the new crown or attachment for a bridge or denture. In certain situations we are able to place the implant immediately after an extraction and/or place a temporary crown. If after implant surgery we cannot place a crown immediately we always plan to have a temporary partial or flipper made so you have some type of a tooth replacement option available to you.
The second stage of the implant process involves uncovering the implant with a minor surgical procedure and taking impressions for your final prosthesis. Depending on the complexity of your case it may take as little as 2 visits to complete the process but in some cases it may take 3-6 visits if there are try-ins that are required.
Call to arrange an appointment for evaluation in order to assess whether you are an appropriate candidate.