Dental implants often represent the best option for patients who are missing one or more teeth. Implants feel and act like natural teeth. Patients can chew and smile with confidence again without worrying about dentures slipping or having unsightly gaps in their smile. A dental implant is an artificial tooth root surgically placed in the mouth to replace one or more missing teeth. Overall dental implants are now considered to have superior success rates and longevity to traditional dental restorations such as bridges and dentures.
Benefits of Implants
Implants have many advantages over dentures and other traditional treatments for missing teeth. Unlike dentures, implants to not slip, move, or irritate the gum tissue. Patients enjoy a better quality of life with implants because they:
- Solve problems associated with missing teeth, dentures, and removable bridges
- Become a permanent part of the mouth with biological attachment to the jawbone
- Have a secure and stable fit
- Can restore up to 90% of chewing power lost with missing teeth
- Minimize jawbone erosion from missing teeth
- Instill greater confidence when speaking and chewing
- Maintain facial proportions and decrease the aged appearance of the face
If you are missing teeth, wear dentures or have older dental work such as bridges, it may be time to think about dental implants. They can change your life and help you live it to the fullest!
Dental Implants and How They Are Placed
There are a wide variety of dental implants in terms of their different sizes, shapes, surface features, connections and materials they areconstructed from. They can replace a single tooth, a series of teeth, or a full arch. The number, type and location of implants are determined after a thorough examination and discussion with your dentist and Dr. Krakowiak. We will work closely with your dentists throughout the entire implant process.
Placement of Implant:
Step 1: After an examination of the area we often use a state-of-the-art Cone Beam 3-D Dental Imaging toscan of the patient’s facial anatomy and further add to the data which is used in a comprehensive evaluation and treatment planning. This information assists Dr. Krakowiak in determining the number and placement location of implants with great precision. Should additional medical information or adjunctive procedures be needed prior to implant placement, we would make recommendations at this time.
Step 2: In the first phase of treatment, implants are placed in the jawbone and are covered over with gum tissue. In some cases the implant site may require certain procedures, such as bone grafting, to prepare the area for implant placement either before or at the time of implant placement.
Step 3: After the implants are placed, a healing cap may be placed as well. The implants are then allowed to fuse to the underlying bone, a process that can require several months. In a few limited instances the implants can receive temporary transitional restorations at the time of placement as well.
Step 4: After the implants have fused to the bone, the healing cap or a cover screw is removed and the prothodontic abutments are attached. The abutment projects up through the gum tissue and may be covered with a temporary restoration.
Step 5: The gum tissue surrounding the abutment is allowed to healed enough for your restorative dentist to fabricate and attach you new prosthesis.
Evaluation and Consultation for Implants
Before you decide on implants, you’ll receive a detailed consultation and treatment plan. We require a thorough medical history to determine whether you have any medical conditions that would affect the outcome of the treatment, such as diabetes, metabolic bone disease, if you are a smoker or a nocturnal bruxer.
After your dentist placed the final prosthesis we will see you for routine check-ups twice a year for the first year, then once a year thereafter. Of course, we are always available anytime you need us. Your dentist will also want to examine you at regular intervals to assure that all is well.
Most Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Implants
Who can benefit from implants?
Any patient missing teeth can benefit from implants. 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 missing teeth.
Are implants successful?
Some patients have had their implants for as long as 30 years. The expected longevity of an implant is often comparable to the longevity of restorations on natural teeth. The lifespan of an implant depends on the patient’s general state of health, oral hygiene habits and commitment to professional follow-up care.
What about rejection or infection?
Implants are made from biocompatible materials that our bodies in vast majority do not respond as foreign. Therefore, rejection does not occur very often. The titanium used for implants does not, most of the time cause an antigen-antibody response. However infection of the implant or rejection due to lack of integration does occur in a very small number of cases. In these rare cases the implants most often can be replaced with good sucess and bone acceptance.
Are implants expensive?
Implants are an investment in your physical and oral health. Our patients have overwhelming indicated that implants have made a positive change in their lives. Many patients tell us that the initial financial outlay was minimal compared to the long-term benefits. The cost of implant therapy is very comparable with the traditional crown and bridge therapy costs however the longevity and costs of long term care of the involved area are less. This is because implants are not involving repair or maintenace if adjacent teeth which is needed when a bridge restoration fails or needs maintenance. Implant also do not develop cavities or require root canal therapy such as many heavily restored teeth do.