Dental Implant Placement
Dental implants are changing the way people live! They are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth which 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.
What are dental Implants?
The actual dental implant is a tiny titanium post surgically inserted into the jawbone where a tooth is missing. This serves as a substitute for the tooth root. Over several months, the titanium fuses with the jawbone, creating a strong foundation for the artificial tooth.
How are dental implants placed?
Generally, the placement of dental implants involves two separate surgical procedures. First, the titanium implant is placed into the jawbone. The implant itself is not visible, and may need months for the bone and implant to heal together, a process called osseointegration. After osseointegration, your surgeon will perform a simple procedure to uncover the implant and attach a small post. This will serve as an anchor upon which your general dentist will place the artificial tooth. In some cases treatment may require only one surgical procedure and patients can have teeth placed almost immediately.
Dental Implants are a Team Effort
Dental implants combine the best of modern science and technology, including a team approach spanning several disciplines. A successful implant requires that all parties involved the patient; the restorative dentist who makes the crown for the implant; and the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon who surgically places the implant, follow a careful plan of treatment. All members of the implant team stay in close contact with each other to make sure everyone clearly understands what needs to be done to meet the patient’s expectations.
Are you a candidate for Dental Implants?
Whether you are a young, middle-aged or older adult; whether you need to replace one tooth, several teeth, or all your teeth, there is a dental implant solution for you. With the exception of growing children, dental implants are the solution of choice for people of all ages, even those with the following health concerns:
Existing Medical Conditions. If you can have routine dental treatment, you can generally have an implant placed. While precautions are advisable for certain conditions, patients with such chronic diseases as high blood pressure and diabetes are usually successful candidates for dental implant treatment.
Gum Disease or Problem Teeth. Almost all implants placed in patients who have lost their teeth to periodontal disease or decay have been successful.
Currently Wearing Partials or Dentures. Implants can replace removable bridges or dentures, or they can be used to stabilize and secure the denture, making it much more comfortable.
Smoking. Although smoking lowers the success rate of implants, it doesn’t eliminate the possibility of getting them.
Bone Loss/Loss of Gum Tissue. Bone Loss is not uncommon for people who have lost teeth or had periodontal disease. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons are trained and experienced in grafting bone and soft tissue to safely and permanently secure the implant.
Implant tooth replacement in children is usually deferred until their jaw growth is complete. There are, however, some instances when a dental implant may be appropriate, such as when it is part of the child’s orthodontic treatment plan. Your family dentist or orthodontist can guide you in this instance.