Your general dentist will always make every attempt to preserve your natural teeth for as long as possible. However, when the health of a tooth can no longer be maintained, it must be removed. When faced with a tooth extraction, the best choice is often to replace the tooth with a dental implant. A dental implant takes the place of a lost root, by placing a screw-like structure in the jawbone. Your body’s natural bone structure will bond to the implant surface which will allow your dentist to attach a new dental crown to the implant. The result is a tooth that looks and feels like the real thing.
Our doctors utilize state of the art technology to help achieve a predictable and long term outcome, including digitally guided implants with 3D printed guides. We also incorporate an intraoral scanner to eliminate the discomfort of traditional dental impressions.
Dental implants can be used to treat a variety of issues including:
- Single tooth replacement – one implant can replace a missing tooth anywhere in your mouth
- Immediate single tooth replacement – certain patients are eligible to consider placement of an implant the same day a tooth is extracted. This is particularly useful in the esthetic zone and may help minimize the period of time between extraction and the final implant crown
- Multiple tooth replacement – implants can also be used to create a bridge, meaning 2 implants may replace 3+ natural teeth.
- Providing retention and support for dentures – patients often suffer from mobility and lack of stability of conventional dentures. Implants can be used to fix this problem, sometimes by modifying their original dentures which avoids the time and cost of a completely new denture fabrication.
- Full arch restoration – Multiple implants can be placed in the arch which support a fixed prosthesis that is not removable, completely restoring the esthetic and functional arch of teeth. This can be performed in a single operation where all teeth are removed from one or both jaws, implants are placed, and a prosthesis is fitted in collaboration with a restoring dentist and lab technicians.
Frequently Asked Questions
Am I a candidate for dental implants?
Our doctors will individually assess each patient to be considered for implant surgery. Certain health conditions are known to be associated with poor implant outcomes. Some patients also may require bone grafting before implant placement, or at the time of implant placement.
How long does it take to complete implant treatment?
The amount of time it takes to replace your tooth with an implant varies from case to case. It does take time for your bone to properly heal to the implant in a way that is sufficient to support a new crown. While a generation ago this would be a minimum of 6-12 months, we can now shorten that time to 8-12 weeks. Keep in mind that if you currently have an unhealthy tooth in the position you want to restore with an implant, we will need to discuss a time frame for healing and preparation of the bone for accepting the implant. While it is a process that does take some time to complete, the result is worth it!
Do I have to clean my implant/crown like a normal tooth?
Yes! Just like a natural tooth, an implant may suffer from disease and fail if it is not properly maintained. Regular brushing and flossing, as well as adhering to your dentist’s recommended cleaning schedule, is critical to maintaining your implant. A night guard to protect your implant crown from grinding or clenching is also often recommended to prevent fractures of the crown or implant itself.
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