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Dental Implants

Dental Implants

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. Benefits include regaining the ability to eat virtually anything and knowing that their teeth appear natural and that their faces won’t prematurely age due to tooth and bone loss. Patients with dental implants can smile, talk and eat with confidence!

"Dental implants can be your doorway to renewed self-confidence, vitality and peace of mind!"

The entire procedure from surgery and healing to the impression and creation of the crowns takes 6-8 months in most cases. Sometimes bone grafting may be needed to assist in a good outcome for an implant.

Dental Implant Surgical Phase is a process that replaces tooth roots with titanium posts allowing the replacement of missing teeth that function much like real ones. Many people are pleasantly surprised at how relatively easy the surgery process is and experience no pain during the procedure and very little discomfort afterwards.

Pre-surgery: A 3-D x-ray called a CT scan is taken to check the exact anatomy for the placement of the implant. Bone quantity and quality is checked and nothing is left to chance. A precise surgical guide is also made to assist the surgeon in placement.

During surgery: A small incision or flap is made to access the bone and a channel is created for the implant. The implant is put into place and x-rayed to verify position. The goal is for the implant to fuse to the bone well and be stable. 90% of the time freeze dried bone is added to give the implant security. The surgery ends with resorbable suture closures.

Post-surgery: Because of the nature of the surgery, and with the gentle tissue management , discomfort is minimal and healing is very predictable (95-97% success rates). However, every situation is different and you will be given insight as to what to expect in your situation. Anti-inflammatory meds from the ibuprofen family can be used to relieve any swelling for the first few days. Prescription pain meds and antibiotics are given and sometimes an anti-bacterial mouth rinse will be suggested. The surgical phase of implants is easier than most people imagine! Healing is typically 4 months for upper arch implants and 2 months for lower arch implants. However, the dentist determines this in a case by case situation. After this phase, the patient can proceed with the restorative part of care…the custom dental abutment and crown.

Dental Implant Restorative Phase consists of the abutment and the crown. Once the implant site has healed and the implant has osseointegrated to the bone, a post or “abutment” is placed into the implant. The abutment lies above the gum line and acts as the support for the final crown. An impression is taken and the dental lab makes the crown which will be the tooth that you see and that actually functions like a normal tooth. It takes 4-6 weeks for the crown to return from the lab and it will be seated with a temporary or permanent cement depending on your case.

Implant Supported Dentures are a type of full overdenture that is secured in place by dental implants instead of simply resting on the gums as conventional dentures. Upper jaw dentures generally need a larger number of denture implants for adequate support. Having the implants in place give security and the patient is no longer afraid of embarrassment of a denture slipping out of place when they eat, talk or laugh. They are also more comfortable because movement is eliminated negating irritating canker sores and pain associated with traditional dentures. The upper implant supported denture doesn’t cover the palate so food tastes better and the mouth feels more natural. Messy denture adhesives are not needed.

Chewing efficiency increases with implant supported dentures, and because implants act as root substitutes, the surrounding bone doesn’t deteriorate so these dentures fit better and longer. The face doesn’t age as quickly when the bone remains stimulated, no sunken in look. Speech is more relaxed as patients talk easier with the stable prosthesis. And the maintenance is less because the denture isn’t affected by bone loss changes as in the conventional denture---less relines and no adhesive.

Implant (Hybrid) Supported dentures can provide an affordable but effective alternative to replace missing teeth when you cannot afford a full mouth dental implant solution.

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