Dental implants are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth that look, feel, and function like natural teeth. As an individual who has lost teeth, you regain 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 knowing they can eat virtually anything.
What Are Dental Implants?
Implants are titanium posts that are surgically placed into the jawbone where teeth are missing. These anchors act as tooth root substitutes. The bone fuses with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth (called crowns). 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 jawbone. For the first three to six months following surgery, the implants are beneath or just above the surface of the gums gradually bonding with the jawbone. You should be able to wear temporary dentures and eat a soft diet during this time.
After the implant has bonded to the jawbone, the second phase begins. Your surgeon will uncover the implants and attach small posts that protrude through the gums and will act as anchors for the artificial teeth. When the artificial teeth are placed, these posts will not be seen. The entire procedure usually takes six to eight months. Most patients experience minimal disruption in their daily life. Remember that the actual crown is made and placed over the implant by your dentist.
Surgical Advances in Dental Implants
Using the most recent advances in dental implant technology, your surgeon may use the CT images or guidance to plan your surgery. In certain cases, you may be a candidate for immediate stage implants, which means that the implant can be placed the same day your tooth is removed. In most scenarios, implants can be restored by your dentist in 4 months.
Dental Implant placement is a team effort between an oral and maxillofacial surgeon and a restorative dentist. While Dr. Burstein performs the actual implant surgery, initial tooth extractions, and bone grafting if necessary, your dentist fits and makes the permanent teeth/crowns. Your dentist will also make any temporary prosthesis needed during the implant process.
What Types of Prosthesis are Available?
A single crown is used to replace one missing tooth and most of the time each prosthetic tooth attaches to its own implant. A fixed bridge can replace two or more teeth and may require only two or three implants. A complete jaw fixed bridge replaces all the teeth in your upper or lower jaw. The number of implants varies depending upon which type of complete prosthesis (removable or fixed) is recommended. We are also pleased to provide our patients with the advanced All-on-4 procedure, where a minimal amount of implants, minimal grafting, and the use of your available bone will be used to reconstruct your jaw with a fixed prosthesis.
Why Dental Implants
Once you learn about dental implants, you finally realize there is a way to improve your life. When you lose several teeth whether it is a new situation or something you have lived with for years chances are you have never become fully accustomed to losing such a vital part of yourself.
Why Select Dental Implants Over More Traditional Types of Restorations?
There are several reasons! Why sacrifice the structure of surrounding good teeth to bridge a space? In addition, removing a denture or a “partial” at night may be inconvenient, not to mention that dentures that slip can be uncomfortable.
Are You a Candidate for Implants?
If you are considering implants, your mouth must be examined thoroughly and your medical and dental history reviewed. Almost everybody is a candidate for dental implants, but make an appointment today for a consultation so we can discuss your options.
What Type of Anesthesia is Used?
There are many factors which determine what level of anesthesia is necessary for your surgical treatment. In many cases, dental implants and bone grafting can be performed in our office under local anesthesia, although deeper sedation or general anesthesia is often used to maximize patient comfort.
Do Implants Need Special Care?
Once the implants are in place, they will likely serve you well for many years if you take care of them and keep your mouth healthy. Good oral hygiene (brushing and flossing) and keeping regular appointments with your dental team are key for long-term success.