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 tooth sized titanium posts that are surgically placed into the jaw where teeth are missing. These metal anchors act as tooth root substitutes. The bone grows on to the titanium surface creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. After a healing period a small post is attached to the the implant, protruding through the gums, to allow attachment of your artificial tooth.
Implants also help in preventing bone deterioration that occurs when teeth are missing.
The Surgical Procedure
For many patients, the placement of dental implants involves one surgical procedure and most patients experience minimal disruption in their daily life.. The implants are placed within your jaw and allowed to heal for three to six months. We will monitor the healing and at the appropriate time return you to your family dentist who will complete the artificial tooth on the implant. In some cases, placement of the implant must be done in more than one step. Such circumstances may include the presence of an exiting tooth or the lack of available bone. This will be discussed at your consultation as you meet Drs. Heldridge, Sato or O’Neil.
Dental Implant placement is a team effort between your surgeon and family dentist. While Dr. Drs. Heldridge, Sato and O'Neil performs the actual implant surgery, initial tooth extractions, and bone grafting if necessary. The restorative dentist (your dentist) fits and makes the permanent teeth/prosthesis. Your dentist will also make any temporary prosthesis that may be needed during the implant process.
What Types Of Replacement Teeth Are Available?
Like on a broken natural tooth, a single crown is used to replace one missing tooth – each crown attaches to its own implant. A bridge replaces multiple teeth supported on two or more implants. Partial or complete dentures can also be stabilized and made more comfortable using dental implants. The number of implants varies depending upon your needs and desires.
Dr. Drs. Heldridge, Sato and O'Neil perform implant surgery in their office. Although most pateints chose to be asleep for this procedure, a full range of anestehetic options are available and will be discussed with you at your consultation.
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?
Very few patinets are not candidates for dental 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.
Do Implants Need Special Care?
Once the implants are in place, the majority of patients will have many years of use. Proper home and professional care is important. This means taking the time for good oral hygiene (brushing and flossing) and keeping regular appointments with your dental specialists.