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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For most patients, the placement of dental implants involves two surgical procedures. First, implants are placed within your jawbone. For the first two to six months following surgery, the implants are beneath the surface of the gums gradually bonding with the jawbone through a process called osseointegration. You should be able to wear a temporary prosthesis during this time.
After the implant has bonded to the jawbone, the second phase begins. During this surgical procedure, our doctors will uncover the implants and attach small posts (abutments), which will act as anchors for the artificial teeth. The entire process usually takes two to six months. Most patients experience minimal disruption in their daily life.
Using the most recent advances in dental implant technology, our doctors are occasionally able to place single stage implants. These implants do not require a second procedure to uncover them, but do require a minimum of 8-10 weeks of healing time before artificial teeth are placed. There are even situations where the implants can be placed at the same time as a tooth extraction – further minimizing the number of surgical procedures. Advances in dental implant technology have now made it possible, in select cases, to extract teeth and place implants with crowns at one visit. This procedure, sometimes referred to as “teeth in one day”, greatly simplifies the overall process.
Dental implants are an excellent method to replace missing teeth with a variety of prosthetic options. Implants can be used to replace a single missing tooth or can be used to provide support for a fixed bridge that replaces several missing teeth. Dental implants can provide support for loose removable partial dentures and complete dentures. Many patients have decided to replace their removable prosthesis entirely with a fixed bridge soley supported by dental implants.
Once the implants are in place, they may 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 for check-up exams, x-rays and hygiene maintenance.
There are many advantages to dental implants, including:
Success rates vary, depending on several factors. In general, dental implants may have success rates above 98% and with proper care, may last a lifetime.
In most cases, anyone healthy enough to undergo a routine dental procedure is a candidate for dental implants. Patients should have healthy gums and enough bone to hold the implant. Patients must be committed to good oral hygiene and regular dental visits. Heavy smokers, people suffering from uncontrolled chronic disorders – such as diabetes or heart disease – or patients who have had radiation therapy to the head/neck area will need to be evaluated on an individual basis.