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.
What Are Dental Implants?
The implants themselves are tiny titanium posts that are surgically placed into the jawbone where teeth are missing. These titanium anchors act as tooth root substitutes. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. Small posts that protrude through the gums are then attached to the implant. These posts provide stable anchors for artificial replacement teeth. Implants also help preserve facial structure, preventing bone deterioration that occurs when teeth are missing.
Why Dental Implants?
Once you learn about dental implants, you finally realize there is a way to improve your life. When you lose 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.
Why Select Dental Implants Over More Traditional Types Of Restorations?
There are several reasons: Why sacrifice the structure of surrounding good teeth to bridge a space? In addition, removing a denture or a partial at night may be inconvenient, not to mention that dentures that slip can be uncomfortable and rather embarrassing.
Are You A Candidate For Implants?
If you are considering implants, Dr Mark Meyer will examine you thoroughly and your medical and dental history reviewed. With the use of state of the art Cone Beam Computer Tomography, Dr Mark Meyer can assess the bone quantity available for implant placement in one visit. If your mouth is not ideal for implants, ways of improving outcome, such as bone grafting, may be recommended during the same visit.
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 temporary dentures and eat a soft diet during this time. At the same time, your dentist/prosthodontist is forming new replacement teeth.
After the implant has bonded to the jawbone, the second phase begins. We 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.
Using the most recent advances in dental implant technology, we are now often able to place single stage implants. These implants do not require a second procedure to uncover them, but do typically require three months of 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. Advances in dental implant technology have made it possible, in select cases, to extract teeth and place implants with crowns at one visit. This procedure is called immediate loading; a stringent selection process is followed if this procedure is warranted.
Implants are a team effort between Dr Mark Meyer and the patient’s restorative dentist/prosthodontist. While we perform the actual implant surgery, initial tooth extractions, and bone grafting if necessary, the restorative dentist/prosthodontist fits and makes the permanent prosthesis. Your dentist/prosthodontist will also make any temporary prosthesis needed during the implant process.
What Type Of Anaesthesia Is Used?
We are able to provide a complete variety of anaesthesia to suit each individual’s needs. Implants can be safely performed with either local anaesthesia with or without conscious sedation, or general anaesthesia in our state-of-the art facilities.
Do Implants Need Special Care?
Once the implants are in place, they will 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.
While there is no guarantee of 100% success with dental implants, with careful planning by Dr Mark Meyer, proper maintenance, you can expect many years of use from your implants. In fact, current literature reports that 90% or more of implants have been retained successfully for up to 15-20 years! Contact our offices for more information.