Cosmetic & Family Dentistry
When you are missing a tooth or several teeth, dental implants can be the solution to replacing what was lost, with something that feels and functions like a normal tooth. Rather than having a removable partial or bridge, you can have an implant replace your missing tooth or teeth. Dental implants are basically artificial roots (usually titanium) that are surgically placed in the area of the missing tooth, and then restored with an implant crown. Dental implants are very strong, durable, and stable and will last for many years. They do not decay since they do not have enamel.
Reasons for Dental Implants:
* Replace one or more missing teeth without affecting the adjacent teeth
* Restore chewing, speech and digestion (caused by inability to chew properly)
* Restore/enhance facial profile & fullness of lips
* Support a denture, to increase retention & stabilize a removable denture
* Eliminate flippers or removable partial dentures
* Maintain bone around a missing tooth, preventing damage to adjacent teeth
from bone loss due to the extraction
* Eliminate extra space caused by tooth loss, which leads to shifting of the teeth
What is the process of placement of an implant?
Implant placement requires a number of visits, careful planning and timing. When a tooth is extracted, a bone graft should immediately be placed on the day of surgery in order to maintain the height of the bone. There are times when an implant can immediately be placed, but ideally the extraction site should be grafted and allowed time to heal for several months. A temporary can be worn if there is a cosmetic concern. X-rays, models of the mouth, and sometimes CAT Scans are taken of the jaw, sinuses, and teeth to determine if there is adequate bone, gum tissue, and space for an implant. Once planned and studied, if the area is healthy enough to receive an implant, the implant is placed and covered back up for a minimum of six months to allow the implant to fully integrate with the jaw. Once this happens, the area is prepared to receive an implant abutment and crown, in a process very similar to having a crown made. Once the final crown is made, it is cemented into place. You can eat, chew, and floss your teeth just like you would normally do.
After extraction and implant placement
Example from one of our patients
Vertically fractured root - 1st Molar