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. Patients with dental implants can smile with confidence, knowing that the teeth appear natural and facial contours will be preserved.
Dental Implant 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.
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What are Dental Implants?
The Surgical Procedure
For most 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 a temporary prosthesis and eat a soft diet during the healing period.
After the implant has bonded to the jawbone, the second phase begins. Drs. Curry or Butler will uncover the implants and attach small posts, 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 six to eight months. Most patients experience minimal disruption in their daily life.
The implants themselves are tiny titanium posts, 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 coating on the implant, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. Small posts are then attached to the implant, which protrude through the gums. These posts provide stable anchors for artificial replacement teeth.
Implants also help preserve facial structure, preventing bone deterioration that occurs when teeth are missing.
Who actually performs the implant placement?
Implants are a team effort between an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon and a Restorative Dentist. While Drs. Curry and Butler perform the actual implant surgery, the restorative dentist (your dentist) constructs the crown, fixed bridge or denture. Your dentist will also make a temporary prosthesis needed during the implant healing period.
What types of prostheses 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 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 (overdenture) attaches to a bar or ball in socket attachments, whereas a fixed prosthesis is permanent and removable only by the dentist.
Drs. Curry and Butler 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.
Dental implants can be your doorway to restored function, 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.
Why would you 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?
Why dental implants?
Once you learn about dental implants, you finally realize there is a way to improve you life. 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.
If you are considering implants, your mouth must be examined thoroughly and your medical and dental history reviewed. If you mouth is not ideal for implants, there are ways of improving the outcome. Bone and soft tissue 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 general anesthesia or deep IV sedation combined with local anesthesia.
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 appointments with your dental specialists.