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.
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Although you have a number of restorative options for the treatment of missing teeth, none have proven to be as functionally effective and durable as dental implants. Implants are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth which look, feel, and function like natural teeth.
Dental implants are precision titanium devices used to replace the root of a missing tooth. These titanium anchors are surgically placed into the bone where they can support a single tooth crown, a multi-tooth bridge, or stabilize a removable partial or full denture. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth.
In some cases, the first surgical procedure may require extracting a failing tooth and/or bone grafting the area prior to implant placement. The implant is placed at a second surgery, often with the use of computer generated stent to assist in accuracy. For the next 3-6 months, the implant is healing with the surrounding bone and your dentist is forming new replacement teeth.
After the implant has bonded to the surrounding bone, Dr. Hart will uncover the implants and attach small posts that extend through the gum tissue and act as anchors for the artificial teeth. When the artificial teeth are placed, these posts will not be seen. The entire procedure usually takes six to eight months. Most patients experience minimal disruption in their daily life.
Using the most recent advances in dental implant technology, Dr. Hart is able to place single stage implants. These implants do not require a second procedure to uncover them, but do require a minimum of six weeks of healing time before artificial teeth are placed. There are also situations when implants can be placed during the same time as a tooth extraction – further minimizing the number of surgical procedures.
Dental Implant placement is a team effort between an oral and maxillofacial surgeon and a restorative dentist. While Dr. Hart performs the actual implant surgery, initial tooth extractions, and bone grafting if necessary, the restorative dentist (your dentist) fits and makes the permanent prosthesis. Your dentist will also make any temporary prosthesis needed during the implant process.
For a brief narrated overview of the dental implant process, please click the image below. It will launch our flash educational MiniModule in a separate window that may answer some of your questions about dental implants.
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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 which type of complete prosthesis (removable or fixed) is recommended. 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.
Dr. Hart performs in-office implant surgery in a hospital-style operating suite, thus optimizing the level of sterility. Inpatient hospital implant surgery is for patients who have special medical or anesthetic needs or for those who need extensive bone grafting from the jaw, hip or tibia.
Once the implants are in place, they will serve you well for many years if you take care of them and keep your mouth healthy. This means taking the time for good oral hygiene (brushing and flossing) and keeping regular appointments with your dental specialists.