Dental implants are really changing the way people live. They are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth that look, feel, and function like natural teeth. The person who has lost teeth regains 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.
What Are Dental Implants?The implants themselves are tiny titanium posts that are surgically placed into the jawbone where teeth are missing. These metal anchors act as tooth root substitutes. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. Small posts that protrude through the gums are then attached to the implant. These posts provide stable anchors for artificial replacement teeth. 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, the tooth needing to be removed is extracted and a socket preservation bone graft is placed if needed. Second, the titanium dental implants are placed and allowed an adequate healing timeframe for bone integration/growth into the implant screw-threads. During the healing time from these procedures, you should be able to wear temporary tooth replacements in order to hide any gaps in your smile. The entire procedure usually takes four to six months unless larger bone grafting is needed which may need longer healing times. Once the dental implant has integrated, your dentist may place the implant crown to restore your smile and chewing function.
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.
Using the most recent advances in dental implant technology, Dr. Potaczek is able to place single stage implants. These implants do not require a second procedure to uncover them, but do require a minimum of six weeks of healing time before implant crowns are placed. There are even situations where the implants can be placed at the same time as a tooth extraction (depending on available bone at the site) – further minimizing the number of surgical procedures. Dental implant placement is a team effort between an oral and maxillofacial surgeon and your restorative dentist. While Dr. Potaczek performs the actual implant surgery, initial tooth extractions, and bone grafting if necessary; Your dentist fits and makes the permanent prosthesis and any temporary prosthesis needed during the implant process.
What Types Of Prosthesis Are Available?
An implant crown is used to replace one missing tooth – 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 dental prosthesis (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. A removable prosthesis (over denture) attaches to a bar or ball in socket attachments, whereas a fixed prosthesis is cemented in and removable only by the dentist.
Why Dental Implants?
Dental implants can be your doorway to renewed self-confidence and peace of mind. A Swedish scientist and orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Per-Ingvar Branemark, developed this concept for oral rehabilitation more than 35 years ago. With his pioneering research, Dr. Branemark opened the door to a lifetime of renewed comfort and self-confidence for millions of individuals facing the frustration and embarrassment of tooth loss.
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 and rather embarrassing.
Are You A Candidate For Implants?
If you are considering implants, your mouth must be examined clinically and radiographically. Your medical and dental history are important too and will be reviewed. Please call for a consultation if you are interested.
What Type Of Anesthesia Is Used?
The majority of dental implants and bone graft can be performed in the office under local anesthesia, with or without sedation.
Do Implants Need Special Care?
Once the implants are in place, they will serve you well for many years if you take care of them and keep your mouth healthy. This means taking the time for good oral hygiene (brushing and flossing) and keeping regular dental cleaning appointments with your dentist.