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 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 posts that are inserted into the jawbone where teeth are missing. These metal anchors act as tooth root substitutes, and their placement is very generally very comfortable. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. Generally, anywhere between 8-12 weeks after implant placement, the healing caps at the top of each implant are exchanged for small posts called abutments, which act as stable anchors for the new teeth, and the new teeth are placed.
Implants also help preserve facial structure, preventing bone deterioration that occurs when teeth are missing.
The Surgical Procedure
For most patients, the placement of dental implants involves only one surgical procedure, and is among the most comfortable procedures performed by Doctors Nail and Dombrowski. First, implants are placed within your jawbone. Although this may sound painful, many patients resume normal activities that same day when they only have 1 or 2 implants placed. For the first two to three months following surgery, the implants are gradually bonding with the jawbone. You should be able to wear temporary dentures (if a large number of teeth are being replaced), and in some cases an immediate temporary tooth or teeth can be placed. During this time it is important to try not to chew directly on the new implant sites and to eat a soft diet. Also during this time, your dentist is treatment planning the new replacement teeth.
Once the implant(s) has/have bonded to the jawbone, the second phase begins. After having been cleared by our doctors, you will be released to your dentist who will remove the small cover caps from the implants and exchange them for small posts called “abutments” that will serve as anchors for the final teeth, and the final teeth will be placed. The entire process usually takes three to six months, and most patients experience minimal discomfort or disruption in their daily life during this time.
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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Using the most recent advances in dental implant technology, Doctors Nail and Dombrowski are usually able to place 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 many situations where the implants can be placed at the same time as a tooth extraction, and some instances when a temporary tooth can be placed on the implant that same day – further minimizing the number of procedures and office visits.
Dental Implant placement is ideally a team effort between an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon and a restorative dentist. While Doctors Nail or Dombrowski perform the initial tooth extractions, the actual implant procedure, and bone or gingival grafting if necessary, the restorative dentist (your dentist) fits and makes the permanent tooth or teeth. Your dentist will also make any temporary teeth 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 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 either a bar, retentive anchor balls or a similar connection, or short titanium posts, whereas a fixed prosthesis is not removable by the patient and can only be removed by the dentist.
Doctors Nail and Dombrowski perform their in-office, outpatient implant procedures in the comforts of office procedure rooms, thus optimizing the level of comfort and sterility. Inpatient hospital implant procedures may be required for patients who have special medical or anesthetic needs.
Why Dental Implants?
Dental Implant Overview
For a brief narrated overview of the dental implant process, please click the image below. It will launch our flash educational MiniModule in a separate window that may answer some of your questions about dental implants.
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Once you learn about dental implants, you realize that if you are missing one or more teeth, or if you have been forced to live with failing teeth, 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 50 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: 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, your mouth must be examined thoroughly and your medical and dental history reviewed. If your mouth is not ideal for implants, ways of improving outcome, such as bone grafting, may be recommended.
What Type Of Anesthesia Is Used?
Most dental implant and associated grafting procedures can be performed in the office under local anesthesia, with or without general anesthesia.
Do Implants Need Special Care?
Once the implant teeth are in place, they can serve for as long as your well-cared-for natural teeth, perhaps for the rest of your life, if you take proper care of them and you keep your mouth healthy. This means taking the time for good oral hygiene (brushing and flossing daily) and keeping regular appointments on the schedule recommended by your dentist.