WHAT ARE DENTAL IMPLANTS?
A natural tooth consists of a root and a crown. If you compare natural teeth to implant-supported replacement teeth, you’ll see they have the same basic parts. Both have a crown (the visible part used to chew food). Both have a root that holds the tooth securely under the gum and is anchored into the jaw. The difference is that the implant is made of titanium – the same time-tested material used by surgeons for artificial joints. When you lose a tooth, you lose both the root and the crown. To replace the tooth, the surgeon first replaces the root with a small dental implant.
Time is allowed for bone to heal and grow around the dental implant. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. A support post (abutment) is then placed on the implant and a new replacement tooth (crown) is placed on top of the abutment. In many cases a temporary replacement tooth can be attached to the implant immediately after it is placed. If all of your teeth are missing, a variety of treatment options are available to support the replacement teeth.
“TRADITIONAL” DENTAL IMPLANTS
Traditional Dental Implants have changed the way many people live. They are designed to provide a foundation for a replacement tooth that looks, feels, and functions like a natural tooth. The person who has lost a tooth regains the ability to eventually (usually within 6-8 months) eat virtually anything, knowing that the new tooth appears natural and that facial contours will be preserved. Patients with traditional dental implants can smile again with confidence.
HEALTHBITE “SMILE-IN-A-DAY” IMPLANTS
At Caprock Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery and the HealthBite Center, our “State-of-the-Art” HealthBite Smile in a Day, provided by our Board Certified Surgeon, eliminates bone grafting entirely, minimizes the number of implants needed to only four implants in most cases, and allows you, the patient, to have a complete set of permanent teeth today so you can eat the healthy foods you deserve to enjoy!
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. For a complete dental prosthesis (fixed bridge) patients are almost always better served to select Caprock Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery’s and the HealthBite Smile in a Day procedure.
During your initial consultation, our expert surgeons determine the number of implants needed, 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 permanent and removable only by the dentist.
The day of surgery, our expert surgeons perform in-office implant surgery in a hospital-style operating suite, thus optimizing the highest level of sterility and providing you with the excellent healthcare that you deserve. Inpatient hospital implant surgery is for patients who have special medical or anesthetic needs or for those who need extensive bone grafting from the jaw, hip or tibia.
WHAT IS A “TRADITIONAL” DENTAL IMPLANT?
The implant itself is a tiny titanium post that is surgically placed into the jawbone where a tooth has been extracted, or is missing. This metal anchor acts as a tooth root substitute. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for an artificial tooth. A small post that protrudes through the gums is then attached to the implant. This post provides a stable anchor for an artificial replacement tooth.
This implant also helps preserve facial structure, preventing bone deterioration that occurs when a tooth is missing.
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. Having trouble? Please make sure you have the Adobe Flash Player plugin installed in order to correctly view this presentation. This software is available as a free download.
THE SURGICAL PRODECURE
For most patients, the placement of a “traditional” dental implant involves two surgical procedures. First, the traditional implant is placed within your jawbone. For the first three to six months following surgery, the traditional implant is 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-frame, while your dentist is forming a new replacement tooth.
After the traditional implant has bonded to the jawbone, the second phase begins. Our doctors will uncover the traditional implant and attach a small post that protrudes through the gums and will act as an anchor for the artificial tooth. When the artificial tooth is placed, the post will not be seen. The entire procedure for “traditional” implants usually takes six to eight months. Most patients experience minimal disruption in their daily life with this traditional type of implant treatment.
“State-of-the-Art” SURGICAL ADVANCES
Using the most recent advances in traditional dental implant technology, our doctors are able to place a single stage implant. This implant does not require a second procedure to uncover it, but does require a minimum of six weeks of healing time before the artificial tooth is placed. There are even situations where the implant can be placed at the same time as a tooth extraction – further minimizing the number of surgical procedures.
Traditional Dental Implants and the HealthBite Smile in a Day, are a team effort between an oral and maxillofacial surgeon and a restorative dentist. While our surgeons perform the actual implant surgery, initial tooth extractions, and bone grafting if necessary, the restorative dentist (your dentist) fits and makes the permanent prosthesis. Your dentist will also make any temporary prosthesis needed during the implant process.
WHY DENTAL IMPLANTS?
Once you learn the many options involved with 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.
Dental implants can be your doorway to renewed self-confidence and peace of mind.
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.
WHY SELECT TRADITIONAL DENTAL IMPLANTS AND HEALTHBITE Smile-in-a-Day OVER OTHER TYPES OF RESTORATIONS?
There are several reasons: Why sacrifice the structure of surrounding good teeth to bridge a space when doing so may significantly harm the good teeth that the bridge is attached to? In addition, removing a denture or a “partial denture” 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, your mouth must be examined thoroughly and your medical and dental history reviewed. If your mouth is not ideal for implants, ways of improving the outcome, such as bone grafting, may be recommended.
WHAT TYPE OF ANESTHESIA IS USED?
The majority of dental implants and bone grafting can be performed in the office under general anesthesia.
DO IMPLANTS NEED SPECIAL CARE?
Once the implants are in place, which ever type of implant treatment you select with your surgeon, they will serve you well for many years…..provided that 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.