Dental Implants Presentation
To provide you with a better understanding of dental implants, we have provided the following multimedia presentation. Many common questions pertaining to dental implants are discussed.
What are dental implants?
A natural tooth consists of a root and a crown. If you compare natural teeth to implant-supported replacement teeth, you’ll see they have the same basic parts. Both have a crown (the visible part used to chew food). Both have a root that holds the tooth securely under the gum and is anchored into the jaw. The difference is that the implant is made of titanium – the same time-tested material used by surgeons for artificial joints. When you lose a tooth, you lose both the root and the crown. To replace the tooth, the surgeon first replaces the root with a small dental implant.
Time is allowed for bone to heal and grow around the dental implant. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. A support post (abutment) is then placed on the implant and a new replacement tooth (crown) is placed on top of the abutment. In some cases a temporary replacement tooth can be attached to the implant immediately after it is placed. If all of your teeth are missing, a variety of treatment options are available to support the replacement teeth.
Surgical Advances in Dental Implants
Using the most recent advances in dental implant technology, our doctors are able to place single stage implants. These implants do not require a second procedure to uncover them, but do require a minimum of eight weeks of healing time before artificial teeth are placed. There are even situations where the implant can be placed at the same time as the tooth extraction – further minimizing your number of surgical procedures.
Dental implant placement is a team effort between an oral and maxillofacial surgeon and a restorative dentist. The oral surgeon performs the actual implant surgery, initial tooth extractions, and bone grafting if necessary. The restorative dentist (your dentist) fits and makes the permanent crown. Your dentist will also make any temporary prosthesis needed during the implant process.
When comparing the cost of dental implants to other tooth replacement methods such as dentures and bridges, it is important to take into consideration the longevity offered by dental implants that is not always afforded by other, more traditional methods.
While dentures and bridges are initially less expensive, their affordability can be short-lived. Because these older methods may require repair and replacement every 5-10 years, they are often more expensive over time. By contrast, dental implants, when properly placed and cared for, can last a lifetime.