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. A person who has lost their teeth regains the ability to eat virtually anything. Their teeth appear natural and their facial contours are preserved. Patients with dental implants can smile once again with confidence.
What Are Dental Implants?
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 the bone deterioration that occurs when teeth are missing.
The Surgical Procedure
The most important aspect of implant surgery starts with developing a treatment plan with the patient, the surgeon and the restoring doctor. There is a true art to implant placement and this requires a thorough pre-operative evaluation. At this evaluation we discuss patient goals, surgical options, the surgical procedure and what to expect after implant placement.
Implant surgery is less invasive and traumatic than a tooth extraction. Most patients are amazed at the pain-free, simple procedure. First, a custom dental implant is placed within your jawbone. Under some circumstances an implant can be placed the same day as the tooth is extracted. Advances in implant design and placement have made it possible in some cases to place a tooth on the implant the very same day. Typically the implant has to heal for at least three months following surgery. If it’s a front tooth being replaced, don’t worry we always have a plan to immediately replace your tooth. You should be able to wear a temporary denture (Flipper) and eat a soft diet during the healing time.
After the implant has bonded to the jawbone Dr. Ciuci and Dr. Perrone will test the implants and you will be referred back to your general dentist where the treatment will be completed by attaching artificial teeth to the implant(s). The entire implant process varies for each individual. Most patients experience minimal disruption in their daily life.
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.
Using the most recent advances in dental implant technology, Dr. Ciuci and Dr. Perrone are able to minimize surgical procedures and advance to restoring teeth faster than in the past. Dental implants traditionally require 3 to 4 months of healing prior to tooth replacement. There are situations where the implant can be placed at the same time as the tooth extraction – further minimizing your number of surgical procedures.
Dental implant placement is a team effort between an oral and maxillofacial surgeon and a restorative dentist. Dr. Ciuci and Dr. Perrone perform the actual implant surgery, initial tooth extractions, and bone grafting if necessary. The restorative dentist (your dentist) fits and makes the permanent tooth or teeth. Your dentist will also make any temporary teeth or prosthesis needed during the implant process.
What Types Of Prosthesis (Tooth Replacements) 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 a variety of factors. 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 Dental Implants?
Dental Implant Overview
For a brief narrated overview of the dental implant process, please click the image below. It will launch our educational MiniModule in a separate window that may answer some of your questions about dental implants.
Dental implants can vastly improve your life. When you lose several teeth – whether it’s a new situation or something that you have lived with for years – chances are you’ve never become fully accustomed to missing 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: A dental bridge can sacrifice the structure of surrounding good teeth to bridge the space of the missing tooth/teeth. Our goal is to keep a one tooth problem, a one tooth problem without involving other teeth. In addition, removing a denture or a “partial” at night may be inconvenient, not to mention 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 there are ways of improving the outcome, such as bone grafting, which may be recommended.
What Type Of Anesthesia Is Used?
The majority of dental implants and bone grafting can be performed in our office under local anesthesia, with or without intravenous sedation.
Do Implants Need Special Care?
Once the implants are in place they will serve you well for many years if you take good care of them and keep your mouth healthy. Good oral hygiene (brushing and flossing) and keeping regular appointments with your dental specialists is key to the long term success of dental implants.