Dental Implants: Restore your smile
A dental implant is a titanium post that simulates the root of a missing tooth. It is surgically positioned into the jawbone, under the gum line, in order to create a strong foundation for replacement teeth. A completely restored dental implant includes three pieces:
- The dental implant itself – surgically placed into the jawbone
- The abutment – a connector between the implant and crown
- The replacement crown – the part that is visible and looks like a tooth
Dental implant placement is a team effort between an oral and maxillofacial surgeon and a restorative dentist. Typically, we will surgically place the implant and the abutment, and the crown will be completed by your restorative dentist.
Dental Implants Replace Teeth
Dental implants look, feel and function just like natural teeth and are widely recognized as the best replacement method. 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 and both have a “root” 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.
Dental Implant Surgery
2. Tooth Loss
3. Healed Bone
4. Implant Placed
6. Implant Restored
Phases of Dental Implant Process
- Consultation and Treatment Plan – The initial phase of the dental implant process starts here. Imaging will be obtained along with your medical history to give us a clear picture of your current health. We will then explore treatment options.
- Extraction – The next step is to have the tooth in question extracted. In some cases, we may be able to place the implant immediately following the extraction. In others, bone grafting or further planning may be required prior implant placement.
- Missing Teeth – Often times a patient will present to the office with a missing tooth or be completely edentulous. Missing teeth over a period of time can cause your jaw bone to atrophy, or resorb. In this case, bone grafting will likely be necessary.
- Bone Grafting – Most bone grafting procedures are done to restore your bone to its previous form prior to tooth loss, gum disease or trauma. This ensures the implant will be adequately supported when it is placed in the jaw. This procedure is typically followed by several months of healing before a dental implant can be placed.
- Dental Implant Surgery – During the implant procedure, the surgeon makes a small incision in the gum tissue to reveal the bone, preps area with the use of surgical instruments, and gently inserts the titanium implant into your jawbone.
- Osseointegration – Now the healing begins. As the surrounding bone fuses with the dental implant, it is creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. The length of time varies from person to person, depending upon the quality and quantity of bone.
- Abutment Placement – After osseointegration occurs, the surgeon places an abutment or a healing cap onto the implant. This allows gum tissue to mature and provides access to the implant.
- Final Restoration – The permanent crown is placed on top of the abutment. Typically, the final restoration is fabricated by your general dentist or a prosthodontist.
In general, once your implants are placed, you can expect your treatment to be completed anywhere from 4 to 12 months. It is difficult to give you a specific time-frame for completion of your treatment until after the implants are ready for restoration, as each patients healing time can vary.
Are You Ready to Reclaim Confidence in Your Smile?
Dental implants can replace missing teeth and restore your smile. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!
Patient Reviews for Dental Implant Surgery
Oakland Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center
First-class operation always professional a very safe and friendly environment
- Kola G
Was just a consultation, so will have to wait until my surgery to finish all the questions. But overall everyone was nice.
- Eleanor M
Doctor Azzopardi explained everything and made me comfortable.
- Tom H
Great experience. Very friendly
- Renee D
This practice has the best people working here.. EVERYONE is so friendly & knowledgeable!!
- Anne A