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 teeth appear natural and that facial contours will be preserved. The implants are titanium posts which are placed into the jawbone where teeth are missing. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. In addition, dental implants can help preserve facial structure, preventing the bone deterioration which occurs when teeth are missing. Implants are now the standard of care for tooth replacement. Their success is approximately 98% which is much better than a conventional bridge.
Dental implants are changing the way people live! With them, people are rediscovering the comfort and confidence to eat, speak, laugh and enjoy life.
Evaluation for Dental Implants
If, like many others, you feel implant dentistry is the choice for you, we ask that you undergo a dental/radiographic examination and health history. During these consultation visits, your specific needs and considerations will be addressed by either Dr. Torrey or by an Oral and Surgeon referred by our practice. Your questions and concerns are important to us and our team will work with you very closely to help make your procedure a success. There are many types and manufactures of dental implants and we us only those that are very predictable and supported.
Dental Implant Procedure
Dental implants are round titanium fixtures, which act as tooth root substitutes. They are surgically placed carefully into the jawbone and allowed to heal for a period of 4-6 months before a crown is placed on the fixture. Implants have a very high rate of success with appropriate treatment planning and careful placement. The success rate is around 95% for the entire mouth.
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 left beneath the surface of the gums, gradually bonding with the jawbone. You should be able to wear a temporary or retainer whichever is more appropriate, and eat a soft diet during this time. At the same time, your restorative dentist designs the final crown, bridgework or denture which will ultimately improve both function and aesthetics.
After the implant has bonded to the jawbone, the second phase begins. We will uncover the implants and attach a small healing collar. After a couple of weeks an impression is taken of the implant and sent to a dental lab for the fabrication of the crown, bridge or denture. Generally we have custom attachments fabricated which hook the crown to the implant. Occasionally, a prefabricated attachment can be used which only lessens to cost of the procedure while not changing the clinical outcome. The entire procedure usually takes six to eight months. Most patients do not experience any disruption in their daily life.