Dental FAQ's Implants FAQ's

Dental Implants are replacement or substitute tooth roots used to replace natural tooth roots in areas of the mouth where teeth are missing. The reason it is so important to replace the tooth root as well as the visible part of the tooth is that natural tooth roots are embedded in the bone, stimulating bone growth and providing the stable foundation necessary to bite and chew. When teeth are missing, the bone that previously supported those teeth melts away or deteriorates by a process called bone resorption. The bone can be preserved however, by replacing missing tooth roots with Dental Implants. Since the bone actually forms a strong bond to the Implants, they can serve the same function as natural tooth roots. Dental Implants are thus a wonderful way to replace missing teeth when certain conditions exist. Such things as your overall general health and the length of time you have been missing your teeth must be considered. The replacement of missing teeth using Dental Implants frequently requires a team approach. After your Dentist does a thorough examination and treatment plan the surgical phase of treatment takes place. In most cases a Periodontist or an Oral Surgeon will put the Implant(s), the artificial root(s) into the jaw. When healing is complete, usually after 4-6 months, the tooth or bridge segment can be placed on top of the healed Implants by a general Dentist or a Prosthodontist. Some Dentists are trained to place the surgical part of the Implant as well as the prosthetic or tooth part. You should ask your Dentist if you are a good candidate for Implants and ask for a referral if he or she does not do them.

Dental implants are an effective, safe and predictable solution to the problems resulting from missing teeth. Dental implants are truly a revolution, solving an age old problem safely and predictably. Implant dentistry can change the smiles and lives of millions for years to come.
Here are some of the major exciting benefits:

  • Adjacent teeth are not involved in the replacement of missing teeth. Tooth replacement with traditional tooth-supported bridges requires grinding down the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth/teeth in order to cement the bridge onto them. This tooth structure can never be replaced and the long-term health of these teeth can be compromised.
  • Removable partial dentures have clasps that hook onto adjacent teeth putting pressure on them as the partial rocks back and forth. The supporting teeth can be adversely affected by this pressure. Replacing missing teeth with Implant-supported crowns/bridges does not involve the adjacent natural teeth, so they are not compromised in any way.
  • The mouth is restored as closely as possible to its natural state. By replacing the entire tooth, including the root, it is possible to replicate the function of natural teeth with a strong, stable foundation that allows comfortable biting and chewing.
  • Even when only one tooth is missing, long term aesthetics are usually much better with an Implant-supported replacement tooth than with a traditional tooth-supported bridge. This is particularly important in the front of the mouth where preventing a visible bone defect is critical for natural appearance.
  • It is much easier to care for an Implant-supported crown as it can be cleaned like a natural tooth as opposed to a tooth-supported bridge which requires the use of a floss threader for proper cleaning. It is also much easier to clean Implant-supported replacement teeth than a removable partial denture.
  • Reduction or elimination of bone atrophy or shrinkage commonly associated with loss of teeth.
  • Replacement teeth look, feel and function like natural teeth
  • Improved taste and appetite
  • Improved cosmetic appearance
  • The ability to chew without pain or gum irritation
  • Improved quality of life

In general, anyone healthy enough to undergo routine tooth extraction or oral surgery is probably able to receive an Implant. Nearly anyone who is missing one or more teeth, and desires a superior, long-lasting aesthetic result is a good candidate for dental implants. However, patients must have enough bone to support and stabilize the implant. Some individuals who have suffered bone loss as a result of gum disease or another condition may need bone grafting before a dental implant can be placed successfully. There are some health conditions that warrant special consideration. Certain chronic diseases, heavy smoking or alcohol abuse may contraindicate Implant treatment. After careful evaluation of your health history, your Dentist will alert you to any conditions that may effect your treatment. Remember, age is not a factor. There are a few medical conditions that can undermine the success of Implant treatment, such as uncontrolled diabetes and smoking. Quality and quantity of available bone for Implant placement is more often a factor in qualifying for Dental Implants than medical conditions.

The first step is an examination and consultation to determine whether or not you are a candidate for Implant treatment. During the examination, the Dentist will be evaluating the area(s) of your mouth both clinically and radiographically where teeth are missing and assessing the amount of bone available to support the placement of Implants. The Dentist will further evaluate the quality and quantity of available bone to determine the number of Implants necessary as well as whether additional procedures may be needed to obtain the desired functional and esthetic result. If you have already lost a significant amount of bone, typically The Dentist will be evaluating the possibility of procedures to add (graft) bone or create new bone.

  • Implant Placement Procedure: The Implants are placed in the bone using a standard surgical technique. Following the Implant placement procedure, the Implants may be left undisturbed for a period of 3-6 months so that the bone can bond with the Implants or the Implants may be placed and immediately loaded with replacement teeth. The Dentist and your Dentist will select the procedure that is best for you. In all cases, you will have some type of temporary replacement teeth so that you never have to be without teeth during treatment.
  • Abutment Attachment Procedure: Following the appropriate healing period, a small connector, or extension, called an abutment, is attached to each Implant. The permanent replacement teeth will eventually be attached to the abutments.
  • Fabrication of Replacement Teeth: A series of appointments with your Dentist will be needed to take impressions of your teeth and the Implant abutments, to place temporary replacement teeth, to select the appropriate shade for your replacement teeth and to try them for proper fit. In between these appointments, the laboratory technician will fabricate your replacement teeth and the underlying structures that will be attached to the Implants.

Most patients report that the discomfort of Implant surgery is far less than they expected. Most patients are very comfortable simply taking Motrin (also known as Advil or Ibuprofen) for a few days after the procedure.

Most Implant procedures are performed in the Dental office under local anesthesia. Although, some patients may desire pre-medication or IV sedation to control apprehension. Hospitalization may be necessary for complex surgical procedures or general health reasons.

Many patients report Implant surgery less troublesome than having teeth removed. With modern anesthesia and close attention to post operative care you can expect minimal discomfort.

Dental Implants preserve bone because they function like tooth roots. In order for the Implants to become embedded in the bone, the bone must bond to the Implants. This process takes anywhere from 3 to 6 months, depending upon the quality of the bone into which the Implants are placed. There are other treatment options that do not include Dental Implants and do not take as long to complete; however, none of these traditional methods of tooth replacement preserve bone. And, in fact, dentures and partial dentures actually accelerate the bone resorption process. In selected cases, Dental Implants can be immediately loaded after placement. Thus the time to complete the treatment plan is minimal. Your Dentist and The Dentist will evaluate your options for immediate loading of newly placed Implant fixtures. Depending of the type of Implant and replacement teeth selected, the total time can be as little as a few weeks to six or more months. If bone grafting is necessary, further time may be needed. Your Dentist will discuss your options with you and advise you of the time requirements.

Documented clinical research demonstrates that Implant-supported replacement teeth have been successful for over 35 years. Dental Implants are designed to be permanent; however, many factors contribute to the long term success of Implant treatment i.e. home care and regular maintenance visits. By comparison, research demonstrates that the typical tooth-supported bridge lasts from 7 to 10 years and partials and dentures are functional for approximately 5 years. Insurance statistics indicate that bridges, partials and dentures last 5 years and they generally pay for replacements every 5 years.

Modern Implant techniques have been in use since the 1950. Improvements in procedures and materials have given Implants a ten year average success rate of 93 percent or better. This enviable success rate is improving every year.

Dental Implant treatment is one of the most successful procedures in the medical/Dental field, with documented success rates over 95%. Although successful treatment is very predictable, there are rare occasions where the bone does not completely bond to the Implants. When this occurs, new Implants can be placed. Smoking or putting too much pressure on newly placed Implants, as with excessive grinding of the teeth, can cause problems with the bone bonding to the Implants, and should be avoided.

In the unlikely event an Implant fails it can usually be replaced by another. In fact, most patients would not have it any other way.

Yes. Research shows that in many cases Implants are actually stronger then natural teeth. Compared to removable teeth, studies show Implant supported teeth have 100 percent or better chewing efficiency. Dental Implants can make it possible for you to enjoy your favorite foods, improve your nutrition and your appearance!

Today Implant treatment enables you to have your new teeth look, feel and function like your own. Even though others will be unaware you have Dental Implants, many patients are so pleased they tell everyone they know. Dental Implants offer some of the finest restorative results possible in modern Dentistry.

Immediately following surgery you may be instructed not to wear replacement teeth in the surgical area. If required, this period is usually short, and temporary teeth are soon provided so you can quickly "get on" with your life.

The home care recommended varies depending upon the type of Implant-supported replacement teeth. For example, a single Implant-supported crown is cleaned like a natural tooth, with regular brushing and flossing. Implant-supported bridges that replace a few teeth are cleaned like tooth-supported bridges, brushing and flossing with a floss threader. In all cases, it is recommended that patients see their regular Dentist and hygienist at least twice each year.

The cost of Implant treatment is based on a number of factors; the number of missing teeth being replaced, the type of Implant-supported teeth recommended and whether additional procedures are necessary to achieve the proper esthetic and functional result. The fees are calculated based on the amount of time your Dentist and The Dentist anticipates spending to complete treatment (Implant placement, other surgical procedures, fabrication of replacement teeth) as well as the estimated cost of Implants, other components and materials necessary to complete the treatment and Dental laboratory fees. Your family Dentist and The Dentist work together on your treatment; however, there is a separate fee for each of the doctors.

Insurance coverage of Implant treatment depends on the individual policy. However, it is rare to receive any substantial coverage. Most plans are only designed to cover routine maintenance, emergencies and basic care.

Beginning in the 1950s researchers observed that the metal titanium, and some other materials, formed a very strong bond to surrounding bone, a process termed "osseointegration." After years of careful research and study, Dental Implants (titanium cylinders placed into the jawbone to support replacement teeth) were refined with high success rates. There are now patients who have had Implant supported teeth for more than twenty-five years. Thus osseointegration began a revolution in dentistry, and at last, an answer to the many problems associated with missing teeth.

If you have lost one or more teeth, you may be all too familiar with the unpleasant consequences. For many, missing teeth lead to an unattractive smile, embarrassment from loose dentures, and pain or difficulty with eating. Traditional dentistry can provide replacements for missing teeth using bridges, removable partials and dentures; however, each of these has its problems. Bridgework usually involves altering natural teeth to provide a stable foundation for support of replacement teeth. Partials and dentures can, at times, be very unstable leading to denture sores or speech difficulties. Another little known problem associated with tooth loss is a process known as "atrophy," a shrinking of the jawbone that can progress relentlessly over the years. Bone atrophy not only affects jaw function, but can cause adverse facial cosmetic changes. Because of the remarkable advances in dentistry in recent years, Dental Implants offer an effective solution to many of these problems.

Patients today have an array of options for replacing missing teeth. Dental bridges, dentures and dental implants all have their advantages and disadvantages, though modern cosmetic and restorative dentistry has come to favor dental implants because they look and function just like real teeth and require no special care. If you have lost a tooth or several teeth, we urge you to seek treatment. Adjacent teeth can shift into the gap left by a lost tooth; in addition, a missing tooth can lead to bone loss, hygiene problems, difficulties with speaking and eating, and much more. Today's dental restorations are better than ever, and they can give you a strong bite and a beautiful smile. 22. What are the treatment applications for BOTOX Therapeutic? Though BOTOX treatments are best-known for eliminating wrinkles and fine lines on the face, the muscle-relaxing properties of this compound make it useful in dental treatment as well. We can use BOTOX Therapeutic injections to relax the temporomandibular (jaw) joint to treat TMJ disorder, teeth grinding, and clenching. BOTOX Therapeutic injections are useful in dental implant surgery especially one-day implants because BOTOX injections can reduce the stress put on a new dental implant. One can use BOTOX Therapeutic injections as the last stage of the immediate dental implant process to reduce stress on the new implant so it can become properly integrated with the jaw bone

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