The advent of dental implantology has provided a revolution for prosthodontic treatment. The ability to restore one, a few, or even entire arches with predictable and successful tooth root analogue dental implants has freed patients from a lifetime of dental functional compromises.
What are Dental Implants?
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 themselves are tiny titanium posts that are surgically placed into the jawbone where teeth are missing. These metal anchors act as tooth root substitutes.
Bone repairs and heals to within nanometers of the titanium implant surface, creating a strong foundation for utilization of the implant in a multitude of ways to facilitate rehabilitating a patient’s dentition. Dental implants may be used to retain a single tooth restoration or multiple teeth anchored by multiple implants. Implants may also be used to hold attachments which help keep removable dental prosthetics in place. Dental Implants also help preserve facial structure, preventing the bone deterioration that occurs when teeth are missing.
If, like many others, you feel implant dentistry may be an option for you, we ask that you undergo a dental/radiographic examination and health history. During this consultation visit, Dr. Fischer will address your specific needs and considerations for implant restorative treatment. Your questions and concerns are important to us and our team will work with you very closely to help make your procedure a success.
We will also discuss fees and insurance coverage at this time. There are many types of insurance plans, and coverage for dental implants is varied. We will be happy to assist you in obtaining any benefits to which you may be entitled.
The Surgical Procedure
For most patients, the placement of dental implants involves a single surgical procedures. First, implants are placed within your jawbone. Healing time following surgery varies from person to person and is based on a variety of factors, such as density of bone at the implant site. In some cases, implants may be provisionally restored immediately after they are placed.
For the six weeks to three months following the surgery, dental implants are beneath the surface of the gums as the bone repairs from the surgery. Patients wearing dentures will be able to continue using their dentures and eat a soft diet at this time. Other patients often can be provisionally restored with either a removable or non-removable restoration at the implant site.
After the implant is integrated into the jawbone, the second phase begins. For permanent restorations , a post is placed within the implant and an impression is made of the post in place in the dental arch. Typical dental restorative techniques are utilized from this point and a crown (or restoration) is fabricated which fits to the implant post and cemented to place. The entire procedure usually takes two to four months. Most patients do not experience any disruption in their daily life.
What Types of Prostheses are Available?
A single prosthesis (crown) is used to replace one missing tooth; a partial prosthesis (fixed bridge) can replace two or more teeth and may require only two or three implants. A complete dental prosthesis (fixed bridge) replaces all the teeth in your upper or lower jaw. The number of implants varies depending upon which type of complete prosthesis (removable or fixed) is recommended. A removable prosthesis (overdenture) attaches to a bar or ball in socket attachments, whereas a fixed prosthesis is permanent and removable only by the dentist.