Prosthetic Dentistry

IMPLANTS

Dental implants are the preferred way to replace missing teeth.  A dental implant is a titanium screw that replaces your tooth root. Once placed, your bone integrates to the dental implant, anchoring it in place. Four to six months later,  the implant crown (cap) is connected to the implant replacing your missing tooth.  Implants feel, chew, and look so natural that you'll soon forget it’s even there! Dental implants and implant crowns can be used to replace a single missing tooth, multiple missing teeth, or all of your teeth as an alternative to traditional, removable plastic dentures.

Treatment Time:
Restoring a missing tooth area with a dental implant and implant crown requires about one year, from the time your tooth is removed until the final crown is connected to the dental implant.  This accounts for healing of the bone in the tooth removal site and integration of the titanium implant.  The first phase of treatment is performed by our periodontist who removes your tooth, evaluates your bone, and places the dental implant.  Placement of the dental implant by our periodontist is done in our office, under local anesthesia.  It takes 4-6 months for your bone to integrate with the dental implant; until integration is achieved, your dental implant cannot receive its final implant crown.  During the integration time, most patients live with an empty tooth space, (unless you’re missing a front tooth, of course), electing to go without a temporary tooth. The second phase is fabrication of the implant crown, which is completed by your general dentist; this involves making an impression of the empty space, then 3 weeks later cementing the implant crown onto the dental implant.

Patient Maintenance:
Single dental implant crowns are treated just like natural teeth; you can floss normally and chew comfortably. This is a major advantage over traditional bridgework which requires floss threading to clean underneath the fake tooth area.

Results of Treatment:
Best method to replace missing teeth.

Average Lifespan of Treatment:
25+ years. Typically, one can expect a dental implant and crown to last a lifetime.

Advantages and Other Considerations:
Unlike bridgework which requires neighboring teeth to be crowned to span the missing tooth site, a dental implant functions on its own

  • Your dental implant crown flosses and chews like a normal tooth; no special hygiene routine is needed.
  • Just slightly more expensive than bridgework, but better longevity, cosmetic appearance, and feel.
  • Unless the tooth to be removed is a front tooth, you will be living with an empty space for the better part of 6 months; most people are okay with this because the space doesn’t show when you smile.
  • Temporary teeth to fill the space can be made but are removable, more costly, and often not worn by patients.