What Are Dental Implants?
Dental Implants are titanium anchors placed into the jaw that holds an artificial tooth securely under the gum. A natural tooth consists of a root and a crown. 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 the 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.
“Don’t be afraid to Smile.”
For years I’d felt like a part of my body was missing — because my teeth were. My dentist told me that dental implants would make me feel and look a lot better. OK, I said. Now, I’m thrilled. I can smile, eat anything, and enjoy a good laugh with my friends.
Why are Dental Implants performed?
Dental implants replace the roots of a tooth that have been removed. After a period of healing in which the bone will fuse to the implant, a crown is attached to the implant by your dentist.
What can you expect during Dental Implants?
Placement of a dental implant is a minor surgery that usually causes only mild to moderate
postoperative pain and swelling. In most cases chewing in the area of the new implant(s) will be
altered for a period of time postoperatively to ensure proper healing. Normal yet careful oral
hygiene should be maintained, especially on the teeth adjacent to the surgical site.
Using the most recent advances in dental implant technology, Dr. Hershkin is able to place single stage implants. These implants do not require a second procedure to uncover them but do require a minimum of six weeks of healing time before artificial teeth are placed. There are even situations where the implant can be placed at the same time as the tooth extraction – further minimizing your number of surgical procedures.
Dental implant placement is a team effort between an oral and maxillofacial surgeon and a restorative dentist. Dr. Hershkin performs 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.
What is the followup and recovery like for Dental Implants?
Dental implants usually take 2.5 – 3.5 months to heal before the crown is placed by your dentist. This is the required time for the bone to fuse to the surface of the implant, a process called osseointegration.
What are the potential risks for Dental Implants?
General surgical risks are pain, infection, swelling and bleeding. Dental implants also have a risk of affecting adjacent anatomical structures. There is a very small risk of the implant not fusing to the bone but this is a rare occurrence.
Are there related treatments to Dental Implants?
When the area to be reconstructed with dental implants does not have enough bone structure, bone grafting (growing new bone) is required.