Dental implants are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth that look, feel and function like natural teeth. The person who has lost teeth regains the ability to eat virtually anything and can smile with confidence, knowing that teeth appear natural and that facial contours will be preserved. The implants are tiny titanium posts which are placed into the jaw bone where teeth are missing. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. In addition, dental implants can help preserve facial structure, preventing the bone deterioration which occurs when teeth are missing.
Dental implants are changing the way people live! With them, people are rediscovering the comfort and confidence to eat, speak, laugh and enjoy life.
Evaluation for Dental Implants
If, like many others, you feel implant dentistry is the choice for you, we ask that you undergo a dental/radiographic examination and health history. During these consultation visits, your specific needs and considerations will be addressed by either Drs. Kelley, Gulis and White, or by an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon referred by our practice. Your questions and concerns are important to us and our team will work with you very closely to help make your procedure a success.
Surgical Advances in Dental Implants
Dental implant placement is a team effort between a dental specialist and a restorative dentist. The specialty doctor, sometimes an oral surgeon, performs the actual implant surgery, initial tooth extractions, and bone grafting if necessary. Drs. Kelley, Gulis or White fits and makes the permanent prosthesis. We also make any temporary prosthesis if needed during the implant process.
Using the most recent advances in dental implant technology, Drs. Kelley, Gulis and White are able to recommend single stage implants. These implants do not require a second procedure to uncover them, but do require a minimum of healing time before artificial teeth are placed, usually around four months. 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 Procedure
Dental implants are metal anchors, which act as tooth root substitutes. They are surgically placed into the jaw bone. Small posts, called abutments, are then attached to the implant, which protrude through the gums. These posts provide stable anchors for artificial replacement teeth.
For most patients, the placement of dental implants involves just one surgical procedure. Dental implants are placed within your jaw bone. For the first three to six months following surgery, the implants gradually integrate with the jaw bone underneath the surface of the gums. Some patients will wear a small healing abutment, or “cap” during this process. A temporary prosthesis can also be worn to replace the tooth while the implant is healing.
After the dental implant has bonded to the jaw bone, the second phase begins. Drs. Kelley, Gulis or White can then start making your new teeth. An impression must be taken. Then posts or attachments, called abutments, are connected to the implants. The replacement teeth are then made over the abutments. The entire procedure usually takes six to eight months. Most patients do not experience any disruption in their daily life.