Dental implants have become the most popular teeth replacement solution among patients and dentists alike due to their restorative and cosmetic capabilities. Implants are made of three components: a titanium screw which is placed in the jawbone, an abutment which connects the screw to the crown, and the crown, the final restoration. While creating a completely natural look, dental implants restore the way in which teeth feel and operate.
If you are missing a tooth, you are not alone. In fact, approximately 125 million Americans are missing at least one tooth, and thankfully, most are excellent candidates for dental implants. At Perfect Smile Dental, we understand the embarrassment and anxiety that can result from losing a permanent tooth. If you are fed up with your current situation and are looking for a better, more permanent solution, please call us to find out more about dental implants.
Dental Implants—The Process
1. Evaluation and Treatment Planning
Your oral surgeon begins by gathering detailed information, including images and medical and dental histories so that they have a clear picture of your current health as they create a customized treatment.
2. Tooth Removal
If the tooth in question is not missing, it will be removed, and in some instances, the implant is placed during the same surgery. If your jawbone is lacking structure and mass, you may wait to have the implant placed until after you’ve had supporting bone grafted in supporting bone.
3. Bone Grafting
A bone graft is a common treatment that is implemented in order to strengthen the target area. Bone grafting typically requires several months of healing before the implant can be placed.
4. Dental Implant Placement
A titanium screw is inserted into your jawbone during the implant procedure. You will choose between a variety of sedation options, and your oral surgeon will make sure you are comfortable and anesthetized during the 1-2-hour surgery.
5. Bone Fusion
Upon completion of the implant surgery, the area will be covered with the surrounding soft tissue and allowed to fuse with the bone over the next 3 months. Our body’s ability to fully integrate with a foreign material, such as titanium, is truly amazing. This miraculous process is called Osseointegration.
6. Final Crown
This is where Dr. Bergonio comes in. After osseointegration is complete, we place an abutment on the implant which connects to the final crown restoration.
Video: How Dental Implants Can Replace Missing Teeth
Pros and Cons…and More Pros
Dental implant placement is a routine procedure that poses very few risks. With a success rate of up to 98%, this trusted and proven treatment continues to remain the preferred tooth replacement method while continually making advancements. The chance of minimal side effects–infection, injury to adjacent teeth, etc.—is very low. Waiting to get an implant until after your jaw has finished growing and you’ve completed all straightening procedures, such as braces, will lead to fewer negative side effects because the implant’s fusion to the bone makes the tooth less mobile, thereby limiting further movement.
Can I drive after dental implant surgery?
All patients who are sedated must arrange for a ride home after their implant procedure. If you choose to use local anesthesia only, you are free to drive yourself home. Final crown placement, which is the part of implant placement that is done in our office, is a simple procedure that does not necessitate anesthesia, so patients are permitted to drive after that procedure.
DENTAL IMPLANTS: COUNTING THE COST
Dr. Bergonio understands that choosing between today’s available tooth replacement methods can be quite difficult. It is our goal, at Perfect Smile Dental, to help our patients make an informed decision about replacing their teeth—and feel good about it.
Lasting a Lifetime
When properly cared for, dental implants can last a lifetime. Compared to alternative teeth replacement methods, such as dentures or bridges, they last 2-3 times longer. Maintaining consistent oral health habits—brushing and flossing twice daily—is key to long-lasting dental implants. In an effort to create a personalized treatment plan that zeros in on your needs and covers all your concerns, Dr. Bergonio partners with specialists in our area. Our use of advanced technology and the latest techniques help to ensure that longevity is a key component of the dental implants we place each day.
A little-known fact: Regular stimulation, as is done when chewing, biting and speaking, keeps the jawbone from deteriorating. So, if a tooth is missing, these functions cannot be executed, and deterioration sets in immediately. In fact, a year without a tooth can result in a 25% loss of supporting jawbone. Thanks to dental implants—titanium screws that fuse with bone—stimulation is provided, and jawbone mass is saved and maintained.
Living Your Best Life
Perhaps the greatest advantage of dental implants is the freedom they provide. The luxury of eating whatever you want, laughing with reckless abandon, and smiling ear to ear—these are priceless benefits indeed.