Having confidence in your teeth can improve how you feel about yourself, both personally and professionally. Perhaps you hide your smile because of spaces from missing teeth. Maybe your dentures don’t feel secure or you have difficulty chewing. If you are missing one or more teeth and would like to smile, speak and eat again with comfort and confidence, there is good news! Dental implants are teeth that can look and feel just like your own! Under proper conditions, such as placement by a periodontist and diligent patient maintenance, implants can last a lifetime. Long-term studies continue to show improving success rates for implants.
Dental implants are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth that look, feel and function like natural teeth. With implants, 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.
An implant is a tiny titanium post that is placed into the jawbone where a tooth is missing. The bone bonds (osseointegrates) with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. Implants never decay, never need a root canal and are resistant to periodontal disease with a good and consistent maintenance regimen. In addition, implants can help preserve facial structure, preventing the bone deterioration that occurs when teeth are missing. After placement most patients report minor discomfort, requiring only Ibuprofen (Advil) or Tylenol.
Your dentist may have recommended dental implants for several reasons:
- Tooth loss due to periodontal disease
- Root canal failure
- Cracked tooth
- Loss of a bridge
- Painful and/or loose dentures or partials
We are dedicated to assisting you in making the best decision for replacing a missing tooth. In order to do so, we will conduct an in-office evaluation that includes gathering and discussing your complete health history, taking implant-specific x-rays and assessing your oral condition. During your consultation visit(s) Dr. Seibert or Dr. Suleiman-Ata will address your specific needs and considerations. Depending upon the type of implant treatment you need, your consultation may include a special cone beam CT scan of your jawbone.
With dental implants, people are rediscovering the comfort and confidence to eat, speak, laugh and enjoy life.
Dental implants are intimately connected with the underlying bone in the mouth and gum tissues surrounding the jawbone. Since periodontists are the dental experts who specialize in precisely these areas, they are ideal members of your dental implant team. Not only do periodontists have experience working with other dental professionals, they also have the special knowledge, training and facilities that you need to obtain teeth that will look and feel just like your own. To ensure the success of a dental implant, a well-coordinated working relationship between your periodontist, general dentist, laboratory technician, implant company representatives and you, the patient, is critical.
Your questions and concerns are important to us, and our staff will work with you very closely to help make your procedure a success. We will address all your questions and work as a team with your dentist to optimize the result of your treatment. Your comfort and the success of your treatment are very important to us.
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.
Implants are substitute tooth roots or root replacements that can be used for upper and lower teeth. Much like artificial knees, hips or other prosthetic devices, dental implants are made of biologically-compatible materials such as titanium.
In some cases a patient may be able to have a tooth extracted, implant placed and a temporary crown placed in a single visit. However, to ensure proper healing and integration of the dental implant to your jawbone, tooth removal and implant placement are most often completed in separate visits.
First, Dr. Seibert or Dr. Suleiman-Ata will place the implant into your jawbone and cover it completely with your gums. During the healing period of approximately 4-6 months, the implant stays under the gum tissue and is allowed to fuse (integrate) to the surrounding bone and become anchored. The length of time required for healing depends on the quantity and quality of jawbone and your body’s biological make up. While the area is healing, a temporary crown or temporary partial denture (flipper) fabricated by your general dentist can be worn over the implant site.
Once the implant has fused (integrated) to the bone, the top of the implant is exposed (uncovered) to attach a small healing cap (abutment). At this point your general dentist can begin the restorative process by taking an impression and customizing a crown with the connector to fit your implant.
If multiple implants are to be placed at the same time, and depending on the complexity of your case, a computer-guided implant system may be utilized during your surgery. The cone beam CT scan images are integrated into virtual reality software to develop a design map for the implant placement. Then, a laboratory fabricated surgical guide is utilized during the procedure to provide more accurate and precise implant placement, allowing less procedure time for the patient.
Dental implants have been used for several decades. Patients of all ages have chosen dental implants to replace single or multiple teeth, or even to support dentures. Dental implants give full function and support just like natural teeth, but they are much stronger than natural or existing teeth. At our office we utilize literature supported dental implant systems and have shown long-term success.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Implants look, feel and function so much like natural teeth that patients often report an increase in their overall quality of life. If you choose dental implants to replace your missing teeth, look forward to regaining comfort and confidence while smiling, speaking and eating. And unlike with dentures and partials, once the area is healed you will no longer have to deal with discomfort or messy adhesive creams!
The advantages of dental implants are:
- Cosmetic: Implants look as natural and healthy as real teeth.
- Structural: Preserves integrity of facial structures to prevent premature wrinkling of the face. Maintains, and even strengthens, facial bone structure.
- Lasting: Documented clinical studies have shown that dental implant placement is one of the most predictable in dentistry, with success rates as high as 95%.
- Convenient: Implants are cleaned and maintained just like real teeth no more glues or special cleaning products. Brushing and flossing become easier.
- Functional: They give you greater stability and functionality, so you will speak and look better.
- Strong: Give you increased bite force and improved chewing performance.
- Safe: Healthy adjacent teeth are not compromised to replace missing teeth. Tooth replacement with traditional bridges requires grinding down teeth adjacent to the missing tooth and cementing a bridge. Bridges need to be replaced often due to dental caries (decay) and periodontal problems arise because cleaning under the bridge becomes difficult. Any future decay and fractures of the adjacent teeth may become a problem.
- Secure: Increased stability and a sense of security that teeth will not fall out when eating, laughing or sneezing.
- Tasty: Improved ability to taste foods. Wearing an upper denture prevents someone from tasting food because the roof of the mouth is covered. With implant supported replacement teeth the roof of the mouth is not covered, so it is once again possible to enjoy the taste of foods.
- Financially Conservative: While high-tech in nature, over the long term dental implants are less expensive than other conventional dental treatments. The implant 20-year survival rates have been shown to be greater than 98%. Dental implants are often a one-time therapy that don’t need to be replaced like conventional crowns and bridges, which only have an expected life span of approximately 12 years (due to cavities).
- All Encompassing: Can improve your overall oral health.
Caring for Dental Implants
While there is no accurate way to predict how each individual will respond, the long-term success rate for dental implants is very high. Most of our patients that had dental implants placed 15 years ago or more are still smiling and chewing with them today. If you take care of your implants and keep your mouth healthy, they will serve you well for many years to come. This means taking the time to sustain good oral hygiene (brushing and flossing) and keeping prescribed (doctor recommended) maintenance appointments with your periodontist and dental professionals.