Dental Implants

Dental implants are one of the best treatments for replacing single and multiple teeth. An implant is surgically placed in either the upper or lower jawbone and serves as foundation for the missing tooth or teeth. A dental implant is typically made of a sterile surgical grade material such as titanium. After an implant has been placed in the jaw, with proper oral hygiene and post-operative care, a dental implant can last a lifetime. The primary advantage of dental implants are improved stability, retention and function. Once an implant has integrated (fused) to the bone, it will remain in place and not be removable. Implants can be used to replace a single missing individual tooth or used to replace multiple missing teeth. Implants can additionally be used to replace all missing teeth by acting as the foundation that a prosthetic is fixated to. Unlike a traditional dental bridge that requires altering the structure of an existing adjacent tooth, implants help to replace the missing tooth with any tooth damage to the adjacent teeth. Unlike a traditional denture or partial denture, implants serve as a fixed anchor that eliminates the mobility, loosening, dislodgment that is typically associated with these types of treatments. Dental implants are able to become a permanent part of a patient’s smile, allowing artificial teeth to look, feel, and function like natural teeth.

The overall success rate for dental implants is about 95%. With decades of clinical research and studies to confirm their success, patients can be confident that dental implants are one of the best treatment options for replacing missing teeth.

When considering a dental implant:

Dental implants can be a treatment for almost all adults, even those with existing medical conditions or mouth problems. Before having a dental implant placed, patients typically meet with his or her dentist to discuss replacing a tooth or teeth in this manner. A patient’s restorative dentist will work hand in hand with each patient and oral surgeon to provide guidance regarding the best possible treatment.

A patient first will undergo a comprehensive consultation which will involve a review of his or her medical history, a thorough examination, and review of dental x-rays. Our experienced surgeons work in collaboration with the dentist to ensure the dental implant process is seamless. During the dental implant placement Drs. Haas, Stich, Kurtzman, Pearson, Sundick, Neuner, McMahon, Spanel, Omlie, Ziegler and Afwerke perform the surgery, while the dentist fits and creates the permanent prosthesis, (the crown). The majority of implant surgeries are performed in the operating suites at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgical Consultants with local anesthesia, nitrous oxide, or IV sedation depending on the patient’s medical history and treatment needs.

The implant placement process:

The implant will be place by a trained oral and maxillofacial surgeon. This will be placed into the bone of either the upper or lower jaw. Typically, an implant takes 3-6 month to integrate (fuse to the bone) before the final prosthesis or crown is placed on the implant. If the implant is for a tooth in the back of a patient’s mouth or not fully visualized when smiling, the implant will heal in the jaw without a crown in place. If the implant is placed in the front of the mouth or in a highly visible area, typically a temporary tooth will be inserted to be worn over the implant site until it has fully healed. Once fully healed, the restorative dentist makes impressions of the implant and of the upper and lower jaws. From these impressions, a model is made, which then is used to create the crown that is affixed to the implant. After the implant is completely installed, patients typically have post-operative examinations to ensure proper healing, function, and esthetics.

Each individual’s implant situation is unique and will ultimately vary in the necessary treatment and number of treatments needed to achieve the patient’s dental implant needs and desires. As with all of our surgical procedures, the surgeons at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgical Consultants are dedicated to our patients’ comfort and surgical success.

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