Implants are an alternative to dentures or partials. Dental implants replace missing teeth, and unlike other options such as dentures or partials, they are permanent. The implant process is a multi-step one:
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.
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The first step is to have the implant device inserted into the jawbone by the oral surgeon, periodontist, or general dentist.
After a healing period of approximately 4-6 months, posts are attached to the implant device by the general dentist. The post is called an abutment. During the healing period your dentist can fabricate a “false tooth” over the implant device to cover the missing tooth.
The last step is for your dentist to make a new, permanent tooth that is secured to the post so that only the “tooth” part is visible.
Dental implants are root shaped metal cylinders made of titanium that allow for the replacement of missing teeth. Implants function as replacement roots, which provide a foundation for crowns, bridgework, and dentures.
Natural teeth are attached to the jaw bone by their roots; the roots hold the teeth in place and help maintain the quantity and strength of the bone surrounding them. When natural teeth are removed, bone shrinks and resorbs. Dental implants help prevent resorption by providing direct stimulation of the underlying bone.
They are made from surgical grade titanium. Titanium is a safe, biocompatible material that is also used in knee and hip replacement surgery.
Dental implants are designed to last for many years. With proper home care and regular dental follow-up, implants can last a lifetime. In properly selected cases, dental implants have over a 95% success rate.
The first is that they look, function, and feel like natural teeth. Unlike bridgework where you cannot floss between teeth (you must use a threader underneath the bridge), you can floss in between your teeth.
The second is it eliminates the need compromise neighboring teeth. Conventional bridgework requires shaving down the adjacent teeth to allow placement of the bridge. With dental implants, the adjacent teeth are not touched and are left in their natural state.