Dental Implants

Dental implants are the most realistic way to replace missing teeth,  They are small titanium cylinders which are surgically placed into the jaw bone.  They can support crowns, or bridges, or dentures.  The procedure to place a dental implant is relatively short, usually around 40 minutes or less.  And there is far less drilling than you get with your typical medium sized filling! 

Dental implants are real teeth!  The titanium is virtually unbreakable and once your crown or bridge or denture is put in place, you will not be able to distinguish the implant supported crown or bridge from your natural teeth.  And you can’t get cavities in them!  And they are even less susceptible to gum disease than natural teeth!

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

In order to properly place a dental implant or any number of implants, it is necessary to take radiographs (x-rays) of the area where they will be placed to evaluate the quality and the quantity of bone available to support the implant(s).  If there is inadequate natural bone, there are ways to graft bone in place to allow the implants to be placed.  Dr. Joe or Dr. Karen will often take impressions of your teeth to generate surgical guides and diagnostic models so the implants will be placed in the perfect position to allow the crowns or bridges or dentures to be fabricated to achieve the best possible outcome for the patient.  If the teeth to be replaced are in the esthetic zone, then the doctors can make temporary tooth replacements so that you don’t have to “go without” while the implants heal to the bone before they are restored.

Dental Implant Procedure

Once the necessary radiographs, diagnostic models, and surgical guides have been completed, it’s time to put in the implants.  Dr. Joe will numb the appropriate area with local anesthetic, make a thin incision in the gums to reveal the underlying bone, and then using a series of small drills, he will prepare a hole and then screw the appropriate size implant into the bone of the jaw.  Stitches are placed to replace the gums over the implant(s) and they are then allowed to heal for 3-4 months so that they can become “integrated”.  That is, they become part of your body.  The bone of your jaw permanently heals directly to the titanium surface of the implant.

After the appropriate healing time,  you will return to the office so that the implant can be “uncovered” and the abutment can be placed on the implant body. The abutment is the titanium post that is screwed into the implant which lies within the bone.  An impression is usually taken at this appointment so that the permanent crown can be fabricated by the dental laboratory.  Or if there are multiple implants, a fixed bridge or a denture can be placed upon the implants.  Dr. Joe or Dr. Karen will insert the crown or bridge about 2 weeks after the implant is exposed and the abutment placed and the impression taken.