Dental Implant Overview
A natural tooth consists of a root and a crown. If you compare natural teeth to implant-supported replacement teeth, you’ll see they have the same basic parts. Both have a crown (the visible part used to chew food), and both have a root that holds the tooth securely under the gum and is anchored into the jaw. When you lose a tooth, you lose both the root and the crown. To replace the tooth, the surgeon first replaces the root with a small dental implant.
Time is allowed for bone to heal and grow around the dental implant. The bone bonds with the implant, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. A support post (abutment) is then placed on the implant and a new replacement tooth (crown) is placed on top of the abutment. In many cases, a temporary replacement tooth can be attached to the implant immediately after it is placed. If all of your teeth are missing, a variety of treatment options are available to support the replacement teeth.
1. No Tooth Loss
2. Tooth Loss
3. Healed Bone
4. Implant Placed
4. Implant Placed
6. Implant Restored
How Your Implant Is Placed
Implants are often placed several months after extraction. Sometimes, an implant may be placed immediately after extraction of a tooth. This may involve a little more risk, but it simplifies the process – you won’t have to wait for another appointment to place the implant. Your surgeon can help you decide which option is better.
If your tooth has been missing for some time, the adjacent support bone is likely to grow thinner and shrink. This occurs because the root of the natural tooth has to be present to stimulate the bone. If you are missing enough bone, you may benefit from having additional bone grafted into the area. This ensures the implant will be adequately supported when it is placed in the jaw.
After Implant Placement
During healing, many temporary replacement options are available, and they are tailored to your specific requirements. Temporary removable teeth or a temporary bridge can be made. If all of your teeth are missing, we can usually modify your present denture or make you a new temporary denture. If you would prefer non-removable teeth during the healing phase, temporary transitional implants can sometimes be placed along with the permanent implants, and temporary teeth may be made and inserted the same day. Depending on your particular situation, some implants can be placed and “loaded” immediately. This means a temporary or permanent replacement tooth can be placed on, or shortly after, the day the implant is placed.
Implants usually last a long time. For patients missing one or several teeth, recent studies show a success rate of greater than 95 percent, which compares favorably with other areas in the body that receive implant replacement (such as hips or knees). However, if one of your dental implants either doesn’t heal properly or loosens after a period of time, you may need to have it removed. After the site heals (or on occasion at the time of removal), another implant can usually be placed.
Although it is natural to be concerned about the pain that may be caused by these procedures, most patients do not experience severe or significant post-operative pain. Pain medication and antibiotics will be prescribed for you to make your recovery as easy as possible.
The replacement teeth are usually attached to the implant when adequate healing has occurred and your jawbone is firmly fused to the implant. Depending on a variety of factors, it may be possible to begin this phase of your treatment immediately or shortly after implant placement. We will review the most appropriate treatment sequence and timing for your particular situation.
The dental work required to complete your treatment is complex. Most of the work involves making the new teeth before they are placed. These appointments are considered more comfortable and more pleasant than previous methods of tooth replacement. Frequently, this process can be performed without local anesthesia.
Usually, a dental surgeon places the implant(s) and performs other necessary surgical procedures, and your restorative dentist provides the temporary and permanent replacement teeth. Both doctors are involved in planning your dental treatment. Also, depending upon a variety of factors, other dental specialists may help with your dental care.
As with natural teeth, it is important that you clean implant-supported restorations regularly with toothbrushes, floss and any other recommended aids. You should also visit your dentist several times each year for hygiene and maintenance.
Dental implants are the most technologically advanced and long-lasting tooth replacement option.
Restore your confidence… Smile, Eat, and Enjoy!
Be sure to ask us about recent innovation in implant materials – CeraRoot implants are all-ceramic, contain fewer parts in the restoration, and can provide improved aesthetics in certain cases!