Dental Implants are a Team Effort
A successful implant requires that all parties involved follow a careful plan of treatment. The patient, the restorative dentist who creates the crown for the implant, and the specialist who surgically places the implant are all members of the implant team who stay in close contact to be sure that everything is done to meet the patient’s expectations. The team continues to work together to provide the highest level of care after implants have been placed.
Dental implants are a solution for replacing single or multiple missing teeth. They replace both the root and the tooth, restoring strength, stability, and support to the mouth and jawbone. Implants are surgically placed in the jawbone. When attached, an implant will look and feel like a natural tooth. Many people who have selected dental implants describe a quality of life that is more comfortable and secure than one with dentures or fixed bridges. Dental implants will never slip, or “click”, or reduce the pleasure of eating in the same way as they would with their natural teeth.
Reason for dental implants include:
- Replacement of one or more missing teeth
- Stopping joint pain or bite problems caused by teeth shifting when a tooth is missing
- Restoring natural chewing and speech
- Supporting facial tissues that can sag and cause the appearance of aging
- Supporting a bridge or denture, making these appliances more secure and comfortable
What is the structure of a dental implant?
Dental implants are tiny titanium posts that are placed into the jawbone in the space where teeth are missing. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. Small posts are attached to the base post, and this is the part that comes up through the gums, providing a stable anchor for the replacement tooth.
What is the procedure for putting in dental implants?
First, a comprehensive examination is done, with radiographs (x-rays) and molds taken of the jaw and teeth to determine bone, gum tissue and spacing. If there is not enough supporting bone to support an implant, additional procedures may need to be performed to build up the area of bone. We will consult with you to review the plan of action.
When your mouth has been prepared for the implant, it will be completely numbed. The implant is then surgically placed into the bone. Healing and regeneration of tissue is recommended, so that the area is completely stable and the implant is fully integrated with the jawbone. This typically takes 4-6 months. Finally, the artificial tooth is securely attached, and full function is restored.
With advances in technology, there are now options available for same-day implants. New methods have significantly simplified the procedure for patients and dentists. There are several factors that can determine if same-day implants are possible, including overall health and the condition of your mouth and jaw. Your dentist will be able to determine if you are a candidate for this type of dental implant.
Is the treatment painful?
As with any surgery, there may be some discomfort, but we make every attempt to make the patient as comfortable as possible. Anesthesia and patient sedation are commonly administered to help reduce discomfort during the dental implant process. Your dentist will prescribe medications that help to ease any pain after the procedure.
How long will my dental implants last?
Normally, a dental implant will last a lifetime.
Is age a factor for getting dental implants?
Health is a greater determining factor than age when it comes to dental implants. If a person is healthy enough to have a tooth extracted, they are generally healthy enough to receive a dental implant. Your dentist will determine if you are a good candidate for this procedure after evaluating your oral and physical health.
Will I be able to chew with the same force and pressure as natural teeth?
Yes, after your mouth and muscles have adapted to the implant, it will feel no different than your natural teeth.
Is any special care needed to take care of my dental implants?
Your new teeth should be cared for and checked regularly, much the same as your natural teeth. Brushing and flossing should be maintained at least twice a day, and you should continue your regular dental check-ups.