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 their teeth appear natural and that their facial contours will be preserved. In addition, implants can help preserve facial structure, preventing the bone deterioration that occurs when teeth are missing.
Dental implants are tiny titanium posts that are placed into the jawbone where teeth are missing. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. Small posts are then attached to the implants which protrudes through the gums. These posts provide stable anchors for replacement teeth.
For most patients, the placement of dental implants involves two surgical procedures. First, implants are placed within your jawbone. For the first three to six months following surgery, the implants are beneath the surface of the gums gradually bonding with the jawbone. You may be able to wear temporaries during this time. After the implant has bonded to the jawbone, the second phase begins. The oral surgeon or periodontist will uncover the implants and attach a small healing collar so the gums will have the proper form. Our office then designs the final crown, bridgework, or denture which will ultimately improve both function and aesthetics. The entire procedure usually takes six to eight months and most patients do not experience any disruption in their daily life.
Most implants involve replacement of one tooth (a crown). However, bridges can be fabricated to replace smaller spans of missing teeth.