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 screw, 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.
Dental implants can be used in a variety of ways. They can be used to replace a single tooth, they can support a dental bridge, they can attach to dentures for added retention, or they can be used as a foundation for full mouth reconstruction.
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 a review of your health history. During these consultation visits, your specific needs and considerations will be addressed by either Dr. Loeffler, Dr. Pitt and Dr. Stephens, 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.
Dental Implant Procedure
A dental implant is a titanium screw that is surgically placed into the jaw bone. It acts as a substitute for the root of a tooth. A small post, called an abutment, is attached to the implant and rises up through the gum tissue, above the gumline. The implant crown is then attached to the abutment by a second, small screw.
The process of placing a dental implant can differ from patient to patient depending on where in the mouth the implant is being placed, and the quality of jaw bone in the area of the implant. Today, the surgical placement of a dental implant is typically done in one visit. On occasion it will require a second, very minor surgical procedure.
After the implant is surgically placed, a small device called a healing cap is placed on top of the implant will remain in place until the implant is ready to be restored. A healing cap is used to prevent the gum tissue from growing over and covering the top of the dental implant. In most cases, the implant can not be restored for about three to six months. During this healing period, the implant is bonding to the surrounding bone, ensuring a solid foundation for a replacement tooth. Once the implant has been given adequate time to heal and integrate, Dr. Loeffler, Dr. Pitt or Dr. Stephens will begin the process of making your new tooth/teeth. Impressions of your teeth and your bite will be taken and sent to a dental lab where the crown or prosthesis will be fabricated.
The entire process usually takes about six to eight months and most patients do not experience any disruption of their daily life.
Temporary tooth replacement is available when you’re going the process of having a dental implant placed. Dr. Loeffler, Dr. Pitt and Dr. Stephens can recommend the best temporary option for you!