Implant Dentistry

Implant Dentistry has revolutionized the restoration and reconstruction of patients who are missing some or even all of their teeth. Regardless of whether the tooth loss is a result of trauma or poor oral health, implants can be used to stabilize, replace, or completely restore a patient's smile and function. This information will help you learn what a dental implant is and how it may be used to create a healthy mouth for you.

Many people prefer and will benefit from dental implants rather than fixed bridges or dentures due to the following characteristics:

From an esthetic and functional aspect, dental implants look and feel like your own teeth. Since dental implants integrate into the structure of your bone, they help to prevent bone loss and gum recession. No one will ever know that you have a replacement tooth.

  • TOOTH-SPARING Dental implants don't sacrifice the quality of your adjacent teeth because neighboring teeth are not altered to support the implant. More of your own teeth are left unaltered which is a benefit to your oral health.

  • CONFIDENCE Dental implants will allow you to once again speak and eat with comfort and confidence. They are secure and offer freedom from the clicks and wobbles of normal dentures. Dental implants may also allow you to prevent the stress of misplaced dentures and messy pastes and denture adhesives that you may be currently using.

  • RELIABLE With the proper medical information gathered, the success rate of dental implants have a highly predictable sucess rate. Implants are considered an excellent option for tooth replacement.

What is a Dental Implant

A dental implant is a small post made of titanium and coated with a biocompatible material which allows the the implant to attach to the bone. The post is surgically inserted into the jaw where teeth are missing. After the implant is placed, the surgical area and bone are allowed to heal for a time period that in some cases can be as long as four to six months. During the healing phase, the bone actually bonds to the titanium implant through a process known as osseointegration.

What is Involved in the Process

First, surgery is performed to place the anchor. Surgery can take up to several hours, and up to six months may be required for the bone to grow around the anchor and firmly hold it in place. Some implants require a second surgery in which a post is attached to connect the anchor to the replacement teeth. With other implants, the anchor and post are already attached and are placed at the same time.

After the gums have had several weeks to heal, the next step is begun. The artificial teeth are made and fitted to the post portion of the anchor. Because several fittings may be required, this step can take one to two months to complete.

Implant surgery can be done either in a dental office or in a hospital, depending upon a number of factors. A local or general anesthetic may be used. Usually pain medications and, when necessary, antibiotics are prescribed. Your dentist will give you instructions on diet and oral hygiene.

This is an example of how dental implant placement might benefit you.

1. Before placement of the implants 2. Placing the implants
3. Attaching the bridge
4. End result

A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is placed into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge. Dental implants are an ideal option for people in good general oral health who have lost a tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease, an injury, or some other reason. While high-tech in nature, dental implants are actually more tooth-saving than traditional bridgework, since implants do not rely on neighboring teeth for support.

Dental implants are so natural-looking and feeling, you may forget you ever lost a tooth.You know that your confidence about your teeth affects how you feel about yourself, both personally and professionally. Perhaps you hide your smile because of spaces from missing teeth. Maybe your dentures don't feel secure. Perhaps you have difficulty chewing. If you are missing one or more teeth and would like to smile, speak and eat again with comfort and confidence dental implants may be the ideal solution for you.

Another example of how a patient could benefit from a dental implant:

Before dental implant
After dental implant

Are You a Candidate for Dental Implants?

The ideal candidate for a dental implant is in good general and oral health. Adequate bone in your jaw is needed to support the implant, and the best candidates have healthy gum tissues that are free of periodontal disease.

What Can I Expect After Treatment?

As you know, your own teeth require conscientious at-home oral care and regular dental visits. Dental implants are like your own teeth and will require the same care. In order to keep your implant clean and plaque-free, brushing and flossing still apply.Periodic follow-up visits will be scheduled to monitor your implant, teeth and gums to make sure they are healthy. Dental implants are an ideal option for people in good general oral health who have lost a tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease, an injury, or some other reason.