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.
What Are Dental Implants?
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.
The implants themselves are tiny 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.
The Surgical Procedure
The placement of dental implants involves as little as one surgical procedure, but may have more depending upon certain factors. First, implants are placed within your jawbone. For the first three to six months following surgery, the implants are allowed to heal and slowly bond to the bone. This healing stage is often done with a small metal healing cap coming through the gum, or in some cases the implant is allowed to heal completely under the gum. If the implant heals under the gum, a small secondary procedure is performed to place the cap that comes through the gum. 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 restorative dentist will attach small posts that protrude through the gums and will act as anchors for the artificial teeth. 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.
Surgical AdvancesUsing the most recent advances in dental implant technology, Dr. Bergen is able to place single stage implants. These implants do not require a second procedure to uncover them, but do require healing time before artificial teeth are placed. Advances in dental implant technology have made it possible, in select cases, to extract teeth and place implants in the same visit. This is called immediate placement. Additionally, it may be possible to place temporary crowns on the same day as the implants are placed. This procedure, called immediate loading can only be done in select cases, but Dr. Bergen can work with your restoring dentist to see if you are a good candidate for such a procedure.
Implants are a team effort between an oral and maxillofacial surgeon and a restorative dentist. While Dr. Bergen performs 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 crown is used to replace one missing tooth. Each prosthetic tooth attaches to its own implant. A fixed bridge can replace two or more teeth and may require only two or three implants depending on how many teeth are being replaced. In some cases, a removable prosthesis may be the best option. The number of implants varies depending upon which type of prosthesis (fixed or removable) is recommended. A removable prosthesis (over denture) attaches to a bar or specialized attachments, whereas a fixed prosthesis is permanent and removable only by the dentist.
Dr. Bergen usually performs dental implant surgery in the office, under the appropriate level of anesthesia depending on your preferences and extent of the procedure. 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.
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.
Why Dental Implants?
Once you learn about dental implants, you finally realize there is a way to improve your 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.
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 35 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 you mouth is not ideal for implants, ways of improving outcome, such as bone 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 local anesthesia, with or without nitrous oxide or intravenous 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.