Dental implants 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 and can smile with confidence, knowing that teeth appear natural and that facial contours will be preserved. The implants are small titanium posts which are placed into the jaw bone where teeth are missing. The bone grows around the implant during a process called “osseointegration”, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. In addition, dental implants can help preserve gum location and structure by preventing the bone deterioration which occurs when teeth are missing.
Dental implants are changing the way people live! With them, people are rediscovering the comfort and confidence to eat, speak, laugh and enjoy life.
Evaluation for Dental Implants
If, like many others, you feel implant dentistry is the choice for you, we ask that you undergo a dental/radiographic examination and health history. During these consultation visits, your specific needs and considerations will be addressed by either Dr. Johnson and Dr. Phillips, or by an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon referred by our practice. Your questions and concerns are important to us and our team will work with you very closely to help make your procedure a success.
Dental Implant Indications
Dental implants can replace just one tooth or an entire arch of teeth by use of bridgework and/or dentures. Patients with existing dentures that are loose can be greatly improved by placing implants that the denture can securely attach to.
Dental implants are metal anchors that look like screws and are made of titanium, which act as tooth root substitutes. They are surgically placed into the jaw bone. A small post is then fastened to the implant, which protrudes through the gums. These posts are called abutments which provide stable anchors for life-like ceramic replacement teeth to attach.
For most patients, the placement of dental implants involves two surgical procedures. First, dental implants are placed within your jaw bone. For the first three to six months following surgery, the implants are beneath the surface of the gums, gradually integrating with the jaw bone. You should be able to wear a temporary tooth or dentures and eat a soft diet during this time. At the same time, your restorative dentist designs the final bridgework or denture, which will ultimately improve both function and aesthetics.
After the dental implant has bonded to the jaw bone, the second phase begins. The surgeon will uncover the implants and attach a small healing collar. Drs. Johnson or Phillips can then start making your new teeth. An impression must be taken. Then posts or attachments can be connected to the implants. The replacement teeth are then made over the posts or attachments. The entire procedure usually takes six to eight months. Most patients do not experience any disruption in their daily life.