WHAT IS A DENTAL IMPLANT?
Dental implants are tiny titanium posts that are inserted into the jawbone where teeth are missing. These metal anchors act as tooth root substitutes and are surgically placed into the jawbone. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for replacement teeth, which look, feel, and function like natural teeth. Small posts are then attached to the implant, which protrude through the gum. These posts provide stable anchors for the replacement teeth or prosthetics.
ARE DENTAL IMPLANTS AN OPTION FOR ME?
If it is recommended to place a dental implant, you will undergo an oral evaluation and your dental and medical history will be reviewed to ensure that dental implants are appropriate. X-rays and, frequently, panoramic or 3D images will be taken to evaluate the quantity of your jawbone and to determine if it is adequate for placement of dental implants.
Who performs the implant placement?
Implants are typically a team effort between an oral and maxillofacial surgeon and a restorative dentist. While our oral surgeons perform the actual implant surgery, initial tooth extractions, and bone grafting (if necessary), your restorative dentist fits and makes the permanent prosthesis.
The Surgical Procedure
For most patients, the placement of dental implants involves two surgical procedures. First, the implants are placed within your jawbone. For the first three months following surgery, the implants are beneath the surface of the gum fusing with the jawbone.
After the implant has fused to the jawbone, our oral surgeons will uncover the implants and place healing collars. These provide access to the implants and protrude through the gums. When the artificial teeth (crowns) are placed, the posts will not be seen. The entire procedure usually takes six to eight months, but it causes minimal disruption in daily life.