What is a Dental Implant?
Dental implants are artificial roots and teeth
(usually titanium) that are surgically placed into the upper or lower
jaw bone by a dentist or Periodontist - a specialist of the gums
and supporting bone. The teeth attached to implants are very natural
looking and often enhance or restore a patient’s smile!
Dental implants are very strong, stable, and
durable and will last many years, but on occasion, they will have to be
re-tightened or replaced due to normal wear.
Reasons for dental implants:
Replace one or more missing teeth without affecting adjacent teeth.
Resolve joint pain or bite problems caused by teeth shifting into missing tooth space.
Restore a patient’s confident smile.
Restore chewing, speech, and digestion.
Restore or enhance facial tissues.
Support a bridge or denture, making them more secure and comfortable.
What does getting dental implants involve?
The process of getting implants requires a number of visits over several months.
X-rays and impressions (molds) are taken of the
jaw and teeth to determine bone, gum tissue, and spacing available for
an implant. In many cases a CAT scan is used together with special
software to "do the surgery" on a computer so that t guide can be made
for the actual surgery in the patient's mouth. This allows the implant
or implants can be placed very precisely and with a minimum amount of
surgical trauma. While the area is numb, the implant will be surgically
placed into the bone and allowed to heal and integrate itself onto the
bone for up to six months. Depending on the type of implant, a second
surgery may be required in order to place the “post” that will hold the
artificial tooth in place. With other implants the post and anchor are
already attached and placed at the same time.
After several weeks of healing the artificial
teeth are made and fitted to the post portion of the anchor. Because
several fittings may be required, this step may take several months to
complete. After a healing period, the artificial teeth are securely
attached to the implant, providing excellent stability and comfort to
You will receive care instructions when your
treatment is completed. Good oral hygiene, eating habits, and regular
dental visits will aid in the life of your new implant.