Benefits of Implants
Dental implants act as a tooth root replacement providing a foundation of support in the mouth for artificial teeth. They are made of biocompatible materials (titanium) and are precisely placed in the jaw bone to aid in stabilizing dental prosthetics (crowns, bridges, and dentures).
More than half of today’s population is affected by the loss of one or more teeth. Because our lifestyles, social activities, and appearances are so much a part of our individual uniqueness, tooth loss is a deeply personal issue and can affect our quality of life. With the latest advancements in dentistry, however, no one needs to feel self-conscious about their smile, or their ability to chew. Today, because of dental implants, thousands of people are eating and enjoying foods they have not tasted in years.
Dental implants can be used to replace a single tooth or multiple teeth, and they can dramatically increase the retention and stability of dentures. Dental implants have the look, feel and function of natural teeth. They are the most attractive, and most natural tooth replacement. And have the highest longevity of all current prosthetic options. Implants can replace teeth that have been missing since birth or teeth that have been lost due to gum disease, infection, trauma, or decay.
Dental implants help distribute chewing forces throughout the jawbone, and thus help to restore the chewing power lost with missing teeth. They also minimize the continual loss and shrinkage of the jaw bone that normally occurs when teeth are lost. Patients who have received dental implants comment that there is a significant improvement in the quality of their lives. Patients feel more confident and comfortable chewing and smiling. Implants also eliminate many of the problems associated with other tooth replacement options (bridges, removable partial dentures, and full dentures).
Consequences Of Tooth Loss
Missing teeth can lead to many social and functional compromises. Loss of teeth also results in loss of tooth supporting bone over time compromising future tooth replacement.
Many common consequences of tooth loss are listed here:
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- Diminished esthetics & embarrassment
- Diminished ability to eat & chew foods
- Decreased taste
- Loss of tooth supporting bone
May lead to difficulty placing dental implants, ill fitting dentures, or
ficulty obtaining ideal esthetics of
the tooth replacement
- Difficulty speaking
- May give the appearance of premature
- Precipitation of gagging due to poorly
- Use of inconvenient adhesives to secure
How Dental Implants
Can Benefit You
Most importantly implants improve your quality of life. They markedly improve your ability to chew, and smile and speak confidently. The Benefits of Dental Implant are plain and simple:
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consultation to learn how you can
benefit from dental implants!
- Implants improve chewing function
- Improved speech
- Implants help to preserve remaining
- Implants provide increased comfort of
- Implants improve self-esteem
- Implants may eliminate the need for
partial dentures or complete dentures
- Implants help to insure tooth stability
- Eliminate the need to use denture
- Implants stop or slow bone loss
- Implants restore natural tooth
Most Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Implants
Who Can Benefit From Implants?
Any individual with a missing tooth or multiple teeth is an implant candidate. Health, rather than age, is usually the determining factor for prospective patients. Implant patients may be young adults with congenitally missing teeth and premature tooth loss, accident victims, long-term denture users, or adults who suffer the embarrassment and inconvenience caused by removable teeth (partial dentures).
Are Dental Implants a New Procedure?
No, quite the contrary, the implants we see today have been developed and perfected over the past 30 years.
Are Implants Successful?
Yes! Some patients have had their implants for as many as 30 years. The expected longevity of an implant is often equal or greater than restorations on natural teeth. How long an implant remains depends on many factors including the current state of oral health, commitment to home oral health care habits and professional dental care and follow-up. Implants fail for the same reasons as natural teeth-poor oral hygiene.
What About Rejection or Infection?
Implants are made from biocompatible materials to prevent our bodies from rejecting them. The possibility of an infection occurring around healed dental implants is the same as that for natural teeth. As with natural teeth, you must practice good oral hygiene to keep the tissues healthy, therefore, implants and replacement prosthesis must be professionally maintained.
Will People Know I Have Implants?
Not unless you tell them. Since the prosthesis (replacement teeth) covers the implant posts, no implant components can be detected. However, many patients tell everyone they know that they have dental implants, due to the benefits they receive from having them in place.
How Long Does Treatment Take?
Treatment time for surgical placement of implants and healing depends on many factors including the location that the implant is placed in the mouth and the type of implant placed. Most cases require a healing period between six weeks to three months to allow the implant to heal to the bone. Once the implant has healed patients return to their dentist to have the tooth or prosthesis made.
Are Implants Expensive?
Implants are an investment in your physical health, oral health and quality of life. The restorative dentist or the oral surgeon can provide a range of their fees at your consultation. Patients in our practice overwhelmingly indicate the positive change that implants have made in their lives. Many indicate that the initial financial outlay was minimal compared to the long-term benefits and wish they had initiated their care years earlier.
What’s the Procedure for Having
A sample implant restorative timeline is indicated below. While this sample timeline is fairly precise, your actual timeline may vary depending on the complexity of your treatment.
Phase 1: Initial Implant Consultation
Patients are referred by their general dentist to our practice for implant consultation. This initial visit consists of a detailed clinical and radiographic exam to determine if you are an implant candidate. Our office or your dentist may take impressions of your teeth to make molds of the teeth for diagnostic purposes. Your medical history will be reviewed to determine if there are any medical considerations prior to proceeding with any surgical procedures. At the conclusion of this appointment an individualized treatment plan and timeline for treatment is provided to you. After your consultation we communicate with your restorative dentist. We and your dentist evaluate the case together and finalize the treatment plan. Surgical guides are then made using the molds to direct the exact placement of the implants during surgery.
Phase 2: Implant Placement
The first surgical procedure involves the placement of the dental implants in the planned locations. Implants can be comfortably placed under local anesthesia used for routine dentistry, or some patients prefer the added relaxation of intravenous (IV) sedation.
After placement the implants are allowed to heal to the underlying bone. This healing period can be as short as six weeks. You will be seen for two to three postoperative appointments to assess the healing of the implants during this time. Detailed instructions will be provided for you on how to care for your mouth following surgery.
Phase 3: Restorative Phase
After the implant has healed to bone your general dentist will restore your implants by placing the final crowns or other planned prosthesis (tooth replacement). The restorative process may take two to six weeks.
After your restorative dentist places the final prosthesis we will see you for a follow-up appointment. We prefer to also schedule an annual follow-up exam. You should also continue with your regular dental checkups. Know that we are always here for you if you have any questions or concerns about your implants.