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Dental implants are changing the way people live. They are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth which 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 small titanium threaded cylinders, which are inserted into the jawbone where teeth are missing. These metal anchors act as tooth root substitutes. They are surgically placed into the jawbone. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. Small posts (abutments) are then attached to the implant. The abutment is the part of the device that protrude through the gums. These abutments are the stable platform for the placement of artificial teeth.
Implants help preserve facial structure by preventing bone deterioration that occurs following loss of teeth.
The Surgical Procedure
Using the most recent advances in dental implant technology, our surgeons are able to significantly reduce the time required for Dental Implant Therapy. These new protocols involve placement of single stage implants. These implants do not require a second procedure to uncover them, but do require a minimum of eight weeks of healing time before artificial teeth are placed. There are even situations where the implants can be placed at the same time as a tooth extraction – further minimizing the number of surgical procedures. Advances in dental implant technology have made it possible, in select cases, to extract teeth and place implants with crowns at one visit. This procedure, called immediate loading, greatly simplifies the patients surgical experience.
For some 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 the surface of the gums gradually bonding with the jawbone. You should be able to wear temporary dentures and eat a regular diet during this time. At the same time, your dentist is forming new replacement teeth.
After the implant has bonded to the jawbone, the second phase begins. Your surgeon will uncover the implants and attach small posts (healing abutments), which will act as anchors for the artificial teeth. These posts protrude through the gums. When the artificial teeth are placed, these posts will not be seen. The entire procedure usually takes 4 to 6 months. Most patients experience minimal disruption in their daily life.
Our surgeons 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, hip or tibia.
Our surgeons will discuss your options and whether you are a candidate for accelerated dental implant therapyprotocols.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Why dental implants?
When you lose several teeth whether its 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. Once you learn about dental implants, you will realize there is a way to improve your life.
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 thirty-five 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.