Dental implants and implant-supported crowns are designed to look, feel and function like natural teeth. An individual who has lost one or multiple teeth regains the ability to eat virtually anything with teeth that appear natural and esthetic.
What are Dental Implants?
The implants themselves are small titanium posts that are placed into the jaw where teeth are missing. These metal anchors act as tooth root substitutes. The patient’s bone attaches to the titanium, which creates a strong foundation for artificial teeth. Small posts that protrude through the gums are then attached to the implant base. Such posts, also known as abutments, provide a stable anchor for a dental crown.
Implants also help preserve facial structure and prevent bone deterioration following tooth loss.
Placement of dental implants typically involves two surgical procedures. First, the implant fixture is placed into your jaw bone. The implant heals beneath the surface of the gums for a period of 3 to 6 months following surgery. During this time, you should be able to wear a temporary denture and eat a soft diet. At the same time, your dentist is forming a new, permanent replacement tooth.
The second phase begins after the implant has bonded to the jaw bone. Dr. Davis will uncover the implant and attach an abutment that protrudes through the gums, which will anchor for the dental crown that your dentist has made for you. The abutment will not be seen after the permanent crown is placed.
The entire procedure typically takes four to eight months. Most patients experience minimal disruption in their daily activities.
Immediate Dental Implants
In certain circumstances, Dr. Davis is able to place immediate implants. These implants are placed at the same time as tooth extraction, which minimizes total treatment time. These implants typically do not require a second procedure to uncover. They do, however, require a minimum of eight weeks of healing time before artificial teeth are placed.
A crown, or ‘cap’, is used to replace one missing tooth and each attaches to its own implant. A partial prosthesis, or ‘fixed bridge’, can replace two or more teeth and may require only two or three implants. A complete dental prosthesis replaces all teeth in your upper or lower jaw. The number of implants varies depending upon which type of complete prosthesis (removable or fixed) is recommended. A removable prosthesis (‘over-denture’) attaches to a bar or ball-in-socket attachments whereas a fixed prosthesis (‘hybrid prosthesis’) is removable only by the dentist.
Are you a Candidate for Dental Implants?
At your consultation appointment Dr. Davis will evaluate your medical history, perform a thorough oral and facial examination and take x-rays. Using this information, Dr. Davis will determine your suitability for dental implants based on your face and lip esthetics, available bone, gum thickness and health and other teeth. If your mouth is not ideal, there are ways to make your mouth more amenable to implant therapy, such as bone grafting and sinus surgery.
What Type Of Anesthesia Is Used?
The majority of dental implants and bone graft can be performed in the office under local anesthesia, nitrous oxide, intravenous sedation or general anesthesia.
Do Implants Need Special Care?
Once the implants are in place, they will serve you well for many years if you take care of them and keep your mouth healthy. This means taking the time for good oral hygiene (brushing and flossing) and keeping regular appointments with your dental specialists.
TEETH-IN-AN-DAY™ is a revolutionary concept providing patients with fully functioning teeth on dental implants in one single procedure. This technique requires close collaboration between Dr. Davis and your restorative dentist or denturist. This merging of knowledge and experience achieves increased safety and more precise implant placement. Moreover, the fabrication of a temporary prosthesis is completed prior to the surgery. Computer-guided implant surgery is done without requiring an incision. This benefits the patient in that there is less postoperative discomfort, swelling and bruising. Patients can often resume normal activities the next day.
The process starts when a CAT scan is taken of your jaw bone. The CAT scan allows for the fabrication of a three-dimensional model that can then be used to virtually to plan the implant placement without the patient being present. This often results in more accurate implant placement and less chair-time for the patient at the office.