What is a dental implants?

A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is placed into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge. Dental implants are an ideal option for people in good general oral health who have lost a tooth or teeth.

While high-tech in nature, dental implants are actually more tooth-saving than traditional bridgework, since implants do not rely on neighboring teeth for support.

Dental implants are so natural-looking and feeling, you may forget you ever lost a tooth. You know that your confidence about your teeth affects how you feel about yourself, both personally and professionally. Perhaps you hide your smile because of spaces from missing teeth. Maybe your dentures don't feel secure. Perhaps you have difficulty chewing.

 

If you are missing one or more teeth and would like to smile, speak and eat again with comfort and confidence, there is good news! Dental implants are teeth that can look and feel just like your own! Under proper conditions, such as placement by a periodontist and diligent patient maintenance, implants can last a lifetime. Long-term studies continue to show improving success rates for implants.

What are the benefits of dental implants?

Because dental implants are patterned after the structure of your natural tooth, they provide a highly stable support system for the replacement teeth or dentures. Other benefits include:

  • Improve biting pressure. Healthy teeth are able to absorb over 500 pounds of biting pressure per square inch. If you've worn dentures for long time, that pressure may be diminished significantly, to one-tenth that of natural teeth. Dental implants can often restore the amount of pressure that can be withstood to nearly the same level of healthy natural teeth.
  • Comfort and fit. Because your replacement teeth are anchored securely to the implants in your jawbone, they can't slip and slide like unsecured dentures can. When dentures aren't secure enough, they often cause sores in the mouth and an annoying clicking sound.
  • Longevity and reliability. With proper oral hygiene and care, scientifically tested and approved dental implant systems have been shown to last as long as 20 years or more with few complications.
  • Increased self-confidence. Because dental implants function remarkably like natural teeth, most people who get them experience a renewed sense of self-confidence once they realize they can again chew, talk, laugh and smile with confidence.

What risks are involved?

Dental implant surgery has proved to be successful for hundreds of thousands of people over the years. Negative effects such as bleeding, infection, injury to the nerves or sinus cavity, or incomplete healing of the bone around the implant resulting in implant failure, are rare.

During the healing process, however, discomfort, swelling and inflammation of the gums-normal responses to oral surgery-may be present in varying degrees. If you have questions about your individual situation or want to discuss what is considered normal in the healing process, we will be happy to address your concerns.

How do I know if I'm a good candidate for dental implants?

If you face the loss of one or several teeth or if you're dissatisfied with dentures or other options available to you, you may find that dental implants are right for you. Age is not typically a major factor; successful dental implants have been performed on young people as well as the elderly.

During your initial consultation, we'll help you decide.
In general, we look for the following characteristics:

  • general good health
  • health of gums
  • sufficient underlying jawbone to support the implants
  • a good attitude to ensure that you follow through with vital oral hygiene habits

One tooth missing - Installing a new tooth, step by step.

Implant step 1

Beforehand

The dentist makes a first examination and takes x-rays.

Implant step 1

Installing the implant

Once the short surgery is completed, a temporary tooth lets you eat and behave as normal. The implant needs a few months to integrate with the jaw.

Implant step 1

Fitting the new crown

The final step is placing the permanent Procera® Ceramic Crown. Now the new tooth is installed for life.

Implant step 1

The beautiful result

The new tooth should fit and function just like a natural tooth. Continue your usual dental hygiene to keep both tooth and gum healthy.

Several teeth missing - Installing a fixed bridge on implants.

Implant step 1

Beforehand

The dentist makes a first examination and takes x-rays.

Implant step 1

Installing the implant

This is normally done in a single session. A temporary bridge may be placed at the same time, so you can function normally almost immediately after leaving the dentist's office.

Implant step 1

Attaching the bridge

Implants usually need a month or two to integrate with the jaw. Once they've integrated, the permanent bridge can be fixed to the implants.

Implant step 1

The beautiful result

The new Procera® Bridge will needle all the pressure that your strong, natural back teeth did. You can now eat whatever you like.