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.
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 review. During your consultation visit, your specific needs and considerations will be addressed by either Dr. Bichon or by the 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
Dental implants are metal anchors, which act as tooth root substitutes. They are surgically placed into the bone. Small posts 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 two (2) surgical procedures. First, the dental implant is placed within your bone and covered with a healing abutment. For the first three to six months following surgery, the implant is gradually bonding with the bone. Once the doctor tests the implant for stability, the restoration process will begin.
The restoration process consists of two (2) visits: An impression must be taken to determine how your new tooth will look in relation to the existing teeth. The replacement tooth is then made at a lab where a crown is fabricated to fit into your implant. You then get to show up at our office one more time to “seat” the final crown. If it fits right and looks right, you get to walk out of our office with a close-to-the-real-thing tooth.
The entire implant procedure usually takes four to eight months. Most patients do not experience any disruption in their daily life. Please feel free to inquire about temporary teeth in the interim, especially if you have aesthetic concerns.