We care about the impact your smile has on your life. Missing teeth make you uncomfortable and feel self conscious. Let us help you improve your smile using dental implants.
About Dental Implants
Dental implants are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth which look, feel, and function like natural teeth. The person who has lost teeth regains the ability to eat virtually anything and can smile with confidence knowing that teeth appear natural. The implants themselves are tiny titanium posts which are placed into the jawbone where teeth are missing. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. In addition, implants can help preserve facial structure, preventing the bone deterioration, which occurs when teeth are missing.
Dental implants are metal anchors, which act as tooth root substitutes. They are surgically placed into the jawbone. Small posts are then attached to the implant, which protrude through the gums. These posts provide stable anchors for artificial replacement teeth.
For most patients, the placement of dental implants involves just one surgical procedure. Most implants have to heal in the bone before placing the tooth on the implant. This takes anywhere between 3-4 months.
When the implant(s) are ready to be restored your general dentist will make impressions for lab fabrication of your tooth, teeth or prosthesis. Then posts or attachments can be connected to the implants. The teeth replacements are then made over the posts or attachments. The entire procedure can take as little as 3 months. If a tooth needs to be removed and the site prepared with bone grafting, that can add anywhere from 4-6 months to the total treatment time.
Our Experience and Technology
Doctor Low has received extensive training in implantology. He has been successfully placing implants since 1987 and through continuing education, is abreast of the most current information on implant dentistry. In addition, Doctor Low is one of the few surgeons that utilizes computer guided implant placement and biotechnology.
Example of single implant replacement for upper front tooth.
Example of multiple implant replacement for lower denture.
Example of single implant replacement for lower back tooth.
Possible Needed Procedures
What procedures may have to be completed before placing my implant?
A procedure called “socket preservation” is sometimes needed to preserve bone and minimize bone loss adjacent to a tooth that has been removed. One common technique is to fill the socket with bone or bone substitute and allow the bone to heal for approximately four to twelve months before implant placement.
“Ridge modification” may be needed if you don’t have enough bone to support an implant. This bone loss could be caused by periodontal disease, wearing dentures, injury, or trauma. During this procedure, bone or bone substitute is added where needed to ensure a proper foundation for implants. Your bone usually needs four to twelve months of healing time before placing implants.
“Sinus augmentation” may be needed to place implants in the upper back jaw, where your bone is very close to your sinus. In this procedure, the sinus floor is raised so there is more room for new bone to grow to provide a proper foundation for implants. After four to twelve months of healing time, you will be ready to have your implants placed. All of these procedures have been shown to greatly increase your chances for successful implants that can last for years to come.
Advantages of Dental Implants
What are the advantages of an implant over a bridge or denture?
A dental implant provides several advantages over other tooth replacement options, including:.
- Maintain the integrity of your remaining teeth. In addition to looking and functioning like a natural tooth, a dental implant replaces a single tooth without sacrificing the health of neighboring teeth. The other common treatment for the loss of a single tooth, a tooth-supported fixed bridge, requires that the adjacent teeth be ground down to support the cemented bridge. When replacing multiple teeth, bridges and partial dentures rely on support from adjacent teeth, while implant supported bridges do not.
- Maintain bone health. Because a dental implant will replace your tooth root, your jawbone is better preserved. Implants integrate with your jawbone, helping to keep your bone healthy and intact. With a bridge or denture, some of the bone that previously surrounded the tooth starts to deteriorate.
- Long-term benefits. In the long term, implants are esthetic, functional, and comfortable. On the other hand, gums and bone can recede around a bridge or denture which leaves a visible defect, deteriorated bone from bridges and dentures can lead to a collapsed and unattractive smile, and cement holding bridges in place can wash out, allowing bacteria to decay the teeth that are anchoring the bridge. Finally, removable dentures can move around in your mouth, reducing your ability to eat certain foods.