Dental implants are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth that look, feel and function like natural teeth. Those who have lost teeth regain the ability to eat virtually anything and can smile with confidence, knowing that teeth appear natural and that facial contours will be preserved.
The implants are tiny titanium posts placed into the jawbone where teeth are missing. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. In addition, dental implants can help preserve facial structure, preventing bone deterioration, which occurs when teeth are missing.
Dental implants are changing the way people live! With them, people are rediscovering the comfort and confidence to eat, speak, laugh and enjoy life.
Evaluation for Dental Implants
Dental implants aren’t for everyone, but they are a good choice for a variety of lifestyles. To determine if this procedure is right for you, Dr. Chen will discuss the option in detail during a consultation. She’ll then provide a thorough dental/radiographic examination and discuss your health history with you. During this consultation, your specific needs and considerations will be addressed, and all your questions will be answered. Dr. Chen will provide a full analysis and offer an individual assessment for whether you would be an appropriate candidate for dental implants. She’ll discuss your options and work with you to put a plan in place for the procedure if she determines you a good candidate. She may also refer you to a skilled Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon. Your questions and concerns are important to us, and our team will work with you very closely to help make the procedure a success.
Dental Implant Procedure
Acting as tooth root substitutes, dental implants perform as small, metal anchors that are surgically placed into the jawbone. Small posts are then attached to the implant, which protrude through the gums, to create a stable foundation for artificial replacement teeth, sometimes called new crowns.
The entire procedure usually takes six to eight months, performed in two surgical procedures and a few dental appointments. Most patients do not experience any disruption in their daily life. The first procedure will place the implants into the jaw beneath the surface of the gums, allowing three to six months to gradually bond with the jawbone. During this time, most patients wear temporary dentures and eat a soft diet for best results. At the same time, your restorative dentist designs the final bridgework or denture, which will ultimately improve both function and aesthetics.
After the implant has bonded to the jawbone, the second procedure will uncover the implants and attach a small healing collar so that posts or attachments can be connected to the implants. Once the posts are in place, Dr. Chen will make an impression of your mouth and begin creating your new replacement teeth or crowns, which will be attached over the posts.
The last step is the final placement of your new teeth. In most cased, Dr. Chen may want to fit the new crown before it is completely finished to confirm the shape is correct and that your bite is perfect.
Caring for Your Implant Teeth
Just like your natural teeth, your new implant teeth should be cared for and checked regularly. Brush and floss often, just as we normally recommend, and come see us every six months for your regular cleaning. Considering everyone’s unique situation, we may recommend that you see us a little sooner for your next visit to ensure your new teeth are performing properly and that you are as delighted as we expect you will be.