What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are changing the way people live. They are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth that look, feel, and function like natural teeth.
The implants themselves are titanium posts that are surgically placed in the jawbone where teeth are missing. These metal anchors serve as roots for the artificial teeth. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. Small posts called abutments, protrude through the gums and are 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.
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.
The Surgical Procedure
For most patients, the placement of dental implants involves one surgical procedure. The implants are placed within the jawbone and allowed to heal for three to four months following surgery. The patient should be able to wear temporary dentures or temporary teeth during this time.
After the implant has bonded to the jawbone, Drs. Bailey, Anton, Seeba and Dusek or the dentist will 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 four to six months. Most patients experience minimal disruption in their daily lives. In certain situations, implants can be placed immediately following tooth extraction – further minimizing the number of surgical procedures.
Dental Implant placement is a team effort between an oral and maxillofacial surgeon and a restorative dentist. Drs. Bailey, Anton, Seeba and Dusek perform the actual implant surgery, initial tooth extractions, and bone grafting if necessary, and the restorative dentist (your dentist) fits and makes the permanent prosthesis. Your dentist will also make any temporary prosthesis needed during the implant process.
What Types Of Prosthesis Are Available?
A single prosthesis (crown) is used to replace one missing tooth; each prosthetic tooth attaches to its own implant. A partial prosthesis (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 the 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 the implants and may be removed by the patient, whereas a fixed prosthesis is permanent and removable only by the dentist.
Drs. Bailey, Anton, Seeba and Dusek perform in-office implant surgery in a hospital-style operating suite, thus optimizing the level of sterility. Inpatient hospital implant surgery is for patients who have special medical or anesthetic needs or for those who need extensive bone grafting from the jaw or hip.
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’s 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.
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: Removing a denture or a “partial” at night may be inconvenient. In addition ill-fitting dentures may be painful or embarrassing. Finally, routine removing and replacing a partial can be abrasive to the surrounding teeth.
Are You A Candidate For Implants?
One who is considering implants must undergo a thorough examination of the mouth and must have his medical and dental history reviewed. If his mouth is not ideal for implants, ways of improving outcome, such as bone grafting, may be recommended.
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 IV sedation.
Do Implants Need Special Care?
Once the implants are placed, they will serve a person well for many years if he takes care of them and keeps his mouth healthy. This means taking the time for good oral hygiene (brushing and flossing) and keeping regular appointments with a dentist.