Dental implants help change lives. A person who has lost teeth will once again be able to eat their favorite foods, confident that teeth appear natural and his or her facial contours are preserved. By providing a foundation for replacement teeth that look, feel, and function like natural teeth, dental implants allow patients to smile with confidence.
What Are Dental Implants?
The implants themselves are small metal posts, which act as root substitutes wherever teeth are missing. These tiny, titanium anchors are surgically placed into the jawbone, which bonds with the metal implants, developing the foundation for replacement teeth. A small post is then attached to the implant, which projects from the gum line, providing a stable base for artificial teeth.
Furthermore, implants may help preserve natural facial structure by limiting bone deterioration.
Surgical Advances with Dental Implants
Dr. Davis is able to place single stage implants, utilizing cutting edge advancements in dental implant technology. While this type of implant does not require a second procedure to uncover them, a minimum six-week healing time is necessary before replacement teeth are set.
In some instances, implants can be placed at the same time as a tooth extraction, minimizing the number of surgical procedures.
In select cases, a procedure called “Immediate Loading” can be used, which allows extraction, along with placing implants with crowns, all in the same visit. This greatly simplifies the surgical process, providing ease of service for patients.
What Types Of Prostheses Are Available?
A single prosthesis, or crown, can replace one tooth. Each prosthetic tooth attaches to an individual implant.
A partial prosthesis, or a fixed bridge, replaces two or more teeth. It may only require two or three implants.
Complete Dental Prosthesis
A complete dental prosthesis, or fixed bridge, replaces all the teeth on either the upper or lower jaw.
A removable prosthesis, or over denture, attaches to ball-in-socket or bar attachments and can be removed by the patient. A fixed prosthesis, however, can only be taken out by the dentist.
The Dental Implant Surgical Procedure
Dr. Davis performs in-office implant surgery in a hospital-style operating suite, ensuring sterility. Inpatient hospital implant surgery is for patients with special medical or anesthetic needs, as well as those who require extensive bone grafting from the hip, jaw, or tibia.
In most cases, placing dental implants requires two surgical procedures. During the first visit, implants are placed within your jawbone. Implants then gradually bond with the jawbone for three to six months after the initial procedure. During this time you should be able to wear temporary dentures and maintain a soft foods diet. Your dentist is forming your new, replacement teeth during this period.
Once the implant has bonded with the jawbone, we begin phase two. Dr. Davis will uncover the implants and attach small posts, which protrude through the gums and act as anchors for the artificial teeth. They will not be visible once the artificial teeth are placed. From beginning to end, the entire process lasts between two and six months, with most patients reporting minimal disruption in daily life.
Health Risks of Dental Implants
According to the American Academy of Implant Prosthodontists:
“Implants are made of biologically compatible materials which have undergone extensive testing over a period of several years. Since these materials are largely metals, such as titanium, and have never been living tissue, there is no likelihood of causing an antigen-antibody response which could cause rejection similar to that which sometimes occurs with heart and kidney transplants.”
To find out if dental implants are right for you, contact Davis Oral Surgery and Dental Implant Center in Raleigh, or call 919-488-2194 to schedule an evaluation.