What are Dental Implants?
Dental Implants Presentation
To provide you with a better understanding of dental implants, we have provided the following multimedia presentation. Many common questions pertaining to dental implants are discussed.
Dental implants are designed to provide a foundation for the replacement of missing teeth that look, feel and function like natural teeth. Patients who have lost teeth may feel self-conscious about smiling or talking. Patients that are missing teeth may also experience biting problems and shifting of the adjacent teeth. Implants can be used in conjunction with other dental procedures for maximum effectiveness. For example, a single implant can serve to support a crown replacing a single missing tooth. Implants can also be used for the replacement of multiple teeth using crowns and bridges. Implants are commonly used with dentures to increase the stability and retention of the denture and to reduce gum tissue irritation. Implants also help preserve facial structure, preventing bone deterioration that occurs when teeth are missing.
The implants are titanium alloy posts that come in various designs and sizes. These implants are designed to replace the root structure of natural teeth. After placement, the implants will undergo a healing period of 3-6 months called osseointegration. Osseointegration is the process by which the surrounding bone bonds to the implant creating a solid anchor for the planned dental restoration. After osseointegration has completed, attachments called abutments, will be secured to the implants to support the crowns or dentures. There are many types of abutments that our doctors and your dentist will utilize depending on your treatment plan.
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The Dental Implant Team
Implants are a team effort between your oral and maxillofacial surgeon and your restorative dentist. While our surgeons perform the implant placement as well as any necessary extractions and bone grafting procedures, your dentist will fabricate and fit your final crowns or dentures. Your dentist will also fabricate any temporary prosthesis during the implant process. Our staff will help facilitate your treatment plan, and coordinate any appointments with your restorative dentist.
The Surgical Procedure For Dental Implant Placement
Placement of the implants is a technical procedure in which our doctors are very well trained. The procedure can be performed under local anesthesia or IV sedation depending on the wishes of the patient. After anesthesia a small access hole is made for the implant. This hole is gradually widened to the size implant that is to be used. The implant is gently positioned and usually a healing abutment is placed to facilitate gum tissue healing. Temporary restorations will often be utilized such as a temporary crown or a removable partial denture commonly called a flipper. In general this is a minor surgical procedure with very little post-operative discomfort. Our goal is for you to have a pleasant surgical experience and minimize the effect on your daily life. Please take the time to review the informed consent videos under the Patient information tab.
Surgical Advances in Dental Implant Technology
Using the most recent advances in dental implant technology our doctors are able to perform multiple surgical procedures to enhance your surgical experience and most importantly your result. Bone and soft tissue grafting procedures are utilized to facilitate implant placement and improve esthetic results.
There are situations where implants can be placed at the same time as a tooth extraction. In select cases, our doctors may be able to place implants and have temporary crowns placed on the same day. In addition, minor procedures at the time of tooth extraction such as a site preservation graft, can greatly improve your implant experience.
Advantages of Implant Dentistry
Our doctors and your dentist will discuss a number of restorative options with you for replacement of your missing teeth. In the case of a single missing tooth, an implant can replace that tooth without affecting the adjacent teeth as in a dental bridge. Dental implants can help patients replace multiple teeth with permanent restorations rather than utilize removable partial dentures. Implants have been very successful in helping full denture patients stabilize their dentures and greatly improve their chewing function. Dental implants are stronger and more durable than many dental restorations, and they are not susceptible to dental decay.