What are dental implants?
Dental implants are tiny titanium posts that are surgically placed into the jawbone where teeth are missing. These metal anchors act as tooth root substitutes. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for the replacement teeth. Small posts that emerge from the implants and protrude through the gums provide stable anchors for the replacement teeth. Very importantly, dental implants help preserve facial structure, preventing bone deterioration that occurs when teeth are missing.
We do a complete and comprehensive evaluation of your existing conditions to include an oral cancer check, evaluation of the existing teeth, the bone and gums. Digital photos are taken of your mouth; Digital X-rays offer reduced radiation exposure; Diagnostic casts of your jaws are made and all of this information is presented to you along with treatment recommendations at a subsequent consultation appointment. After accepting treatment, you will be appointed for the surgical placement of the implant(s). This procedure is peformed under local anesthesia. The time for healing depends on the quality and amount of remaining bone your have.
What types of prosthesis are available?
A single prosthesis (crown) is used to replace one missing tooth, where 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 permanently placed, and is removable only by the dentist.
What type of anesthesia is used?
The majority of dental implants and bone graft can be performed in our office under local anesthesia, and oral conscious sedation. However, some patients may elect general anesthesia.