A dental implant is a "root" device, usually made of titanium, used in dentistry to support restorations that resemble a tooth or group of teeth to replace missing teeth.
Virtually all dental implants placed today are root-form endosseous implants, i.e., they appear similar to an actual tooth root (and thus possess a "root-form") and are placed within the bone (endo- being the Greek prefix for "in" and osseous referring to "bone"). The bone of the jaw accepts and osseointegrates with the titanium post. Osseointegration refers to the fusion of the implant surface with the surrounding bone. Dental implants will fuse with bone; however, they lack the periodontal ligament, so they will feel slightly different from natural teeth during chewing.
Why Should I consider Getting an Implant?
- Without the root structure of a natural tooth, the jawbone can shrink, making your face look older than it is.
- There are no loose parts to worry about losing.
- The implant is stable and comfortable.
- Normally, it will serve its owner for life.
Are dental implants successful?
With more than three decades of clinical experience and over a million patients treated, statistics confirm a success rate of nearly 95 percent for individual dental implants*, and even higher for the bridges they support.
* Results based on dental implants and dental bridges remaining and in function over a five-year period.
Who is a Good Candidate for Implants?
Anyone who is missing one or more teeth due to injury, disease or tooth decay may benefit from dental implants. The determining factor is the amount of available bone. Your oral surgeon is the best person to evaluate whether dental implants are a viable solution for you.
Is patient age a problem?
Health is more of a determining factor than age. If you’re healthy enough to have a tooth extracted, you’re probably healthy enough to receive dental implants. Certain chronic diseases may contraindicate dental implant treatment. Dr. Cowden or Dr. Frye will determine if you are a candidate for dental implants after a careful evaluation of your dental and health history.
What are the advantages of dental implants over dentures or a dental bridge?
- Improved appearance: When you lose the entire tooth - crown and root - shrinkage of the jawbone may cause your face to look older. Dental implants can stop this process. A traditional denture or dental bridge doesn’t.
- Preserve natural teeth: With traditional dental bridges, teeth adjacent to missing teeth are normally ground down to be used as anchors for a dental bridge. Dental implants often eliminate the need to modify healthy teeth.
- Permanent solution: There are no loose parts to worry about losing. The dental implant is stable and comfortable. No adjustment is need after placement. Normally, it will serve its owner for life.
How will dental implants affect my life?
Teeth supported by dental implants look, feel and function like natural teeth. This means that you can eat and drink whatever you choose. And people who have felt embarrassed and worried because of their tooth problems are often overwhelmed by what new permanent teeth can do for their self-esteem.
Will my new teeth look natural?
When dental implants are used in combination with modern restorative dentistry, their appearance, comfort and function are very likely to exceed your expectations. Often they are hard to tell apart from your natural teeth.
Will I be able to chew with the same force and pressure I use with my natural teeth?
Yes. Following a brief adaptation period, chewing capacity is comparable to that of natural teeth.
How much time is required for a dental implant placement?
Dr. Cowden or Dr. Frye places the dental implant, which is left for three to six months to heal and integrate with the jawbone. After the healing period, a permanent crown is put in place.
Is the treatment painful?
With any surgery, there can be some discomfort. Placing one implant normally causes less discomfort then placing several. Most patients report that they were much more comfortable following the procedure than they had anticipated. Anesthesia and patient sedation are commonly administered to help reduce any discomfort during the dental implant process.
How will I feel after the treatment?
It is normal to have some bruising and swelling in the gum and soft tissues. But usually the discomfort, if any, is treated with an ordinary painkiller. Healing time varies from patient to patient, but often patients can return to work the next day.
How will I care for my dental implants?
Your new teeth must be cared for and checked regularly, just like your natural teeth. Brush and floss as recommended by your dentist or dental hygienist. See your dentist in six months, or more frequently if so advised.
How much do dental implants cost?
The fee depends on the number of dental implants being inserted. Some additional procedures may be required prior to the placement of the implants to ensure the long-term health of the implant, mouth and gums. To obtain a specific fee estimate, Dr. Cowden or Dr. Frye must examine your mouth. After a thorough diagnostic examination, he will recommend the treatment that is best for you.
Read more about Dental Implant Surgery at: http://myoms.org/procedures/dental-implant-surgery