Dental Implants

Should I get Dental Implants?

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 artificial replacement teeth to be placed on.

Implants help preserve facial structure, preventing bone deterioration that occurs following loss of teeth.


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The Surgical Procedure

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.

Dental Implants Presentation

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 soft 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 therapy protocols.

Who actually performs the implant placement?

Implants are a team effort between an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon and a Restorative Dentist. While our surgeons perform the actual implant surgery, initial tooth extractions and bone grafting if necessary, the restorative dentist (your dentist) fits and makes the permanent prosthesis. Your dentist will also make any temporary prosthesis needed during the implant process.

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.

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 (over denture) attaches to a bar or ball in socket attachments, whereas a fixed prosthesis is permanent and removable only by the dentist.

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?

If you are considering implants, you will be examined thoroughly and your medical and dental history reviewed. If your present condition is not ideal for implants, adjunctive procedures, such as bone or gum grafting, to correct the problems may be recommended.

What type of anesthesia is used?

The majority of dental implants and bone graft procedures are performed in the office under monitored intravenous sedation anesthesia. In many cases local anesthesia alone is used.

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.

Guided Implant Surgery

i-Cat ScanOne of the many advantages of having your procedure in our office is our minimally invasive approach to dental implant surgery. Our surgeons and their staff will employ the latest technological advances for your implant surgery. Traditionally, dental implants are planned on two dimensional x-rays, requiring the surgeon to open the gums through an incision and place the implant based on the contour of the bone. In our office, our onsite CT scanner gives an accurate 3-Dimensional view of your upper and lower jaw bone contour without an incision. This allows us to plan your procedure without any surprises. Computer-aided design (CAD) software allows us to perform your implant surgery on a computer before making the first incision. The computer then generates a plastic guide that is used during the surgery. This technique eliminates the need to visually inspect the bone during the procedure and hence can result in incision-less surgery. No sutures and less surgical manipulation means faster healing and virtually no discomfort. Additionally, this more accurate technique of implant surgery may eliminate the need for additional bone grafting procedures.

Guided implant depiction