Dental Implants

Dental Implant 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.

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Dental implants are changing the way people live. They 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, knowing that teeth appear natural and that facial contours will be preserved. Patients with dental implants can smile with confidence.

Once you learn about dental implants, you finally realize there is a way to improve your life. When you lose one or several teeth – whether it’s a new situation or something you have lived with for years – chances are you have never become fully accustomed to losing such a vital part of yourself.

Dental implants can be your doorway to renewed self-confidence and peace of mind. They also help preserve facial structure, preventing bone deterioration that occurs when teeth are missing.

What Are Dental Implants?

A Swedish scientist and orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Per-Ingvar Branemark, developed this concept for oral rehabilitation more than 35 years ago.  With his pioneering research, Dr. Branemark opened the door to a lifetime of renewed comfort and self-confidence for millions of individuals facing the frustration and embarrassment of tooth loss.

The implants themselves are tiny titanium posts that are surgically placed into the jawbone where teeth are missing.  The implant will then fuse to the bone to create a strong foundation for artificial teeth. Small posts that protrude through the gums are then attached to the implants. These posts provide stable anchors for artificial replacement teeth.

The Surgical Procedure

For most patients, the placement of dental implants involves two surgical procedures. First, implants are placed within your jawbone. For the first three to six months following surgery, the implants are beneath the surface of the gums gradually bonding with the jawbone. You should be able to wear a temporary appliance and may have to eat a soft diet during this time. After the implants have fused with the jawbone, your dentist will fabricate new replacement teeth.

After the implants have fused to the jawbone, the second phase begins. Dr. Haim will uncover the implants and attach small posts that protrude through the gums and will act as anchors for the artificial teeth. When the artificial teeth are placed, these posts will not be seen. The entire procedure usually takes six to eight months. Most patients experience minimal disruption in their daily life.

Surgical Advances

Using the most recent advances in dental implant technology, Dr. Haim is able to place single stage implants. These implants do not require a second procedure to uncover them, but still require healing time before artificial teeth are placed. There are even situations where the implants can be placed at the same time as a tooth extraction – further minimizing the number of surgical procedures.

Implants are a team effort between an oral and maxillofacial surgeon and a restorative dentist. While Dr. Haim performs the actual implant surgery, initial tooth extractions, and bone grafting if necessary, the restorative dentist (your dentist) fits and makes the dental prosthesis. Your dentist will also make any temporary prosthesis needed during the implant process.

What Types Of Prosthesis Are Available?

A single prosthesis (crown) is used to replace one missing tooth – each prosthetic tooth attaches to its own implant. A partial prosthesis (fixed bridge) can replace two or more teeth and may require only two or three implants. A complete dental prosthesis (fixed bridge) replaces all the 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 is removable only by the dentist.

Benefits of Dental Implants

  • They help protect your oral health by reducing bone loss that often accompanies tooth loss.
  • They do not require that adjacent teeth be cut down to support a dental bridge.
  • They enable you to eat and enjoy foods that you may otherwise not be able to.
  • They allow you to speak clearly without embarrassing clicking noises or slipping dentures.

Are You A Candidate For Implants?

If you are considering implants, you will need a thorough examination, including appropriate X-rays and a review of your medical and dental history. In some cases, other procedures such as bone grafting may be recommended.

What Type Of Anesthesia Is Used?

The majority of dental implants and bone grafting procedures can be performed in the office under local anesthesia, with or without intravenous sedation.

Do Implants Need Special Care?

Once the implants are in place, they should 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.