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 (implant) 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 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.
“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.
Surgical Advances in Dental Implants
Using the most recent advances in dental implant technology, Dr. Baker and Dr. Weber are 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 the final crown is placed on the tooth. 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. Drs. Baker or Weber performs the actual implant surgery, initial tooth extractions, and bone grafting if necessary. The restorative dentist (your dentist) fits, designs and makes the permanent crown, bridge or hybrid denture that attaches to the implants. in most situations, you can have a temporary tooth attached to the implant immediately after placing it. This creates a great healing environment for the tissue around the tooth and negates the need for a flipper. Additionally, we understand your time is valuable and you may travel to come see us. We will incorporate the latest technology to minimize the number of appointment necessary to complete this process. We will be in constant communication with your dentist to streamline the process efficiently and effectively for your individual needs.