Dental implants are a permanent and long-lasting solution to replace missing or extracted teeth. We like to think of dental implants as a one tooth solution to a one tooth problem. Before dental implants, when you replaced a missing tooth, your only solutions were 1) a removable appliance or 2) a bridge. With a bridge, the two teeth adjacent to the missing tooth were crowned and a fake tooth was fabricated between the two crowns. Even if the neighboring teeth were in excellent shape, they had to be drilled on. Today, with dental implants, this is no longer necessary.
The length of the entire process depends on many factors. If a tooth is extracted and the implant cannot be placed the same day, the extraction socket is typically grafted with particulate bone. Bone granules are placed where the root was, enabling the body to rebuild bone in the area. Bone formation is a slow process and can take four to six months. Once the area is fully healed, the implant can be placed.
Sometimes implants can be placed the same day the teeth are extracted. If this is possible, the previous waiting period is eliminated; however, conditions have to be ideal to place the implant the day the tooth is extracted.
Once the implant is placed, the bone and implant must fuse together. The process, known as osseointegration, takes anywhere from four to six months.
If the area to be restored is in the front of the mouth, or is a cosmetic concern, you will not go without a tooth during the healing phase. A retainer can be fabricated or, in some instances, a temporary crown can be placed on the implant.
Once the area is healed, the crown can be fabricated. An impression is taken and sent to our local dental ceramist. Our dental ceramist custom makes your crown to match your smile. For some cases, such as front teeth, our dental ceramist sets up a time to take close-up photos or the neighboring teeth, in order to create a crown that naturally blends into your smile.
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a permanent new root for a missing tooth. It is a titanium screw that is placed into the jaw bone. An abutment and crown is then placed on the implant to provide a new tooth that is permanent and looks just like a natural tooth.
How are dental implants different than dentures?
Dentures are a removable set of teeth or partial set of teeth that need to be removed and cared for in a special manner. They can often feel bulky and are difficult to get used to. Dental implants are a permanent replacement for missing teeth that can be cared for just like natural teeth.
What are the benefits of dental implants?
Dental implants look and feel just like real teeth, they are permanent, you can eat the foods you want without any fear of embarrassment, and they procedure is very successful and fairly inexpensive.
Who can place a dental implant?
Our doctors have extensive training in dental implant placement and restoration. In the event that advanced bone grafting is required, or concerns about medical conditions, you may be referred an oral surgeon for the placement of the implant.
How much do implants cost?
The price of your dental implants will vary based on how many implants you are having placed, any need for additional procedures, amount of insurance coverage, and more. Schedule a consultation with us to determine a price for your implants and a financing plan if necessary.
Do dental implants hurt?
No. A local anesthetic will be given before the procedure so that you do not feel any pain. If you have anxiety or fear, ask us about our sedation options.
How long do implants last?
When cared for properly, implants should last a lifetime. Proper oral hygiene and regular dental visits are essential to the success of your implant .