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 surgically placed into the jawbone where teeth are missing. These metal anchors act as tooth root substitutes. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. Small posts that protrude through the gums are then attached to the implant. These posts provide stable anchors for artificial replacement teeth.
Implants also help preserve facial structure, preventing bone deterioration that occurs when teeth are missing.
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.
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.
After the implant has bonded to the jawbone, the second phase begins. Dr. Koll and Dr. Kelly will uncover the implants and attach small posts that protrude through the gums that will act as anchors for the artificial teeth. When the artificial teeth are placed by your general dentist, these posts will not be seen. The entire procedure usually takes six to eight months. Most patients experience minimal disruption in their daily life.
Using the most recent advances in dental implant technology, Drs. Koll and Kelly are sometimes able to place single stage implants. These implants do not require a second procedure to uncover them, but do require a minimum of three months of healing time before artificial teeth are placed.
Dental Implant placement is a team effort between an oral and maxillofacial surgeon and a restorative dentist. While Drs. Koll and Kelly 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.
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 a bar or ball in socket attachments, whereas a fixed prosthesis is permanent and removable only by the dentist.
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, partial / complete dentures may not fit properly or be uncomfortable. With implants, these dentures would be securely in place to live your life as normal.
What Type Of Anesthesia Is Used?
The majority of dental implants and bone grafting can be performed in the office under local anesthesia, with or without general 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.