Dental Implants

Our dentist and staff strive to improve the overall health of our patients by focusing on preventing, diagnosing and treating conditions associated with your teeth and gums. Please use our dental library to learn more about dental problems and treatments available. If you have questions or need to schedule an appointment, contact us.

Dental Implants

In the past, losing teeth meant your appearance and your ability to eat normal foods would be greatly impacted. Today with dental implants, you can maintain a natural appearance and the ability to eat the foods you enjoy with teeth that feel like your own.

What are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are a safe, medically proven alternative to traditional bridgework and removable prosthetics. Made of titanium, implants are screw like anchors placed in the jaw bone to take the place of your missing tooth root. After the bone has healed around it, a process called “integration,” you are ready for restoration. This could be a single tooth replacement with a crown or multiple teeth replacement with a bridge.

Sometimes the implant can be used as a connection to securely add precision attachments to a partial or denture. The increase in stability and retention is then many times greater than the conventional appliance.

About The Implant Process

The implant process involves several steps that take place over a 4-9 month time period. First is a consultation with your dentist to evaluate if you are a good candidate for dental implants.

Next is the placement of the implant into the bone by a dental surgeon while you are under either local or general anesthesia. Over the next few months, the bone will heal to the surface of the implant.

After this healing period is over, an impression is taken and the type of restoration you need will be fabricated.

The Benefits of Dental Implants

  • Maintain Anatomy: If you have missing teeth, the bone begins to shrink over time. This bone loss can make you jaw line recede and change your facial structure. Dental implants can help prevent this from happening by holding the bone.
  • Keep Your Teeth Healthy: Your own natural teeth are not compromised because there is no need to grind down healthy teeth to attach a bridge. Also, no metal clasps are needed to hold your removable partial.
  • Security: Dental implants do not slip or move while you are talking or eating. This eliminates some of the problems of dentures and partials, including poor fit, gum irritation and trauma to the teeth with clasps.

Are There Any Limitations?

  • Chronic illnesses such as diabetes or leukemia may interfere with the healing after surgery.
  • Another contraindication is for patients who are taking a category of drugs called “bisphosphonates,” especially the IV form which is taken for metastatic cancer. However, the milder oral form of the drug, which is taken for osteoporosis, is also raising some concerns.
  • If you have lost too much bone it could be a problem; a consultation with an oral surgeon will help you to know if you are a good candidate.
  • The use of tobacco is believed to cause a higher failure rate.

Improve Your Appearance, Self-Confidence and Peace of Mind

Home care is very important to the success of your implant but it is basically the same as caring for a natural tooth. Dental implants can improve your appearance, self-confidence and give you greater peace of mind. They look and feel similar to natural teeth and give you confidence while eating and speaking. Today, your best option for tooth replacement is a dental implant.

Before development of dental implants, dentures were the only alternative to replacing a missing tooth or teeth. Implants are synthetic structures that are placed in the area of the tooth normally occupied by the root. Implants are anchored to the jawbone or metal framework on the bone and act as a foundation for an artificial tooth or permanent bridge. In some cases, implants can be used to attach dentures.

Not everyone is a candidate for a dental implant. For a successful implant to take hold, a candidate must have proper bone density and have a strong immune system.

Implants are so well-designed, they mimic the look and feel of natural teeth. Implants are usually made of titanium.

In general, good candidates who have dental implants can expect high success rates with the procedure.

The procedure can take several visits. During the first visit, an anchor is placed into the jawbone and the site is allowed to heal for several weeks or months. This gives your tissue time to grow around the anchor to more firmly hold it in place.

During a follow-up visit, an artificial, natural-looking tooth is fitted over the implanted anchor.

Types of implants

Various types of implants include full upper and lower, anterior, posterior, and single-tooth:

Full upper replacements

The upper set of teeth is replaced with implants. Procedure steps include:

 

  • Missing tooth roots are replaced with implants, which are covered under the gum line.
  • A healing period of up to six months allows implants to take.
  • The implants are uncovered and extensions attached.
  • Replacement teeth are affixed to the implants and extensions.

In some cases, full upper replacements can be removed.

Anterior replacement

Implants are used to replace the front teeth (also called incisors and cuspids). Procedure steps include:

 

  • Missing tooth roots are replaced with implants, which are covered under the gum line.
  • A healing period of up to six months allows implants to take.
  • The implants are uncovered and extensions attached.
  • Replacement teeth are affixed to the implants and extensions.


Full lower replacement

The lower set of teeth is replaced with implants. Full lower replacement usually only uses four to six implants (near the front), which are used to anchor a denture. This obviates the need for denture adhesive.


Posterior replacement

Implants are used to replace the bicuspids and molars (the back teeth). Procedure steps include:

 

  • Missing tooth roots are replaced with implants, which are covered under the gum line.
  • A healing period of up to six months allows implants to take.
  • The implants are uncovered and extensions attached.
  • Replacement teeth are affixed to the implants and extensions.

Single tooth replacement

Procedure steps include:

 

  • Missing tooth root is replaced with an implant, which remains covered under the gum line.
  • A healing period of up to six months allows the implant to take.
  • The implant is uncovered and an extension attached.
  • Replacement tooth is affixed to the implant and extension.


Contact Us