Dental implants are changing the way people live. They are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth which look, feel and function like natural teeth. The person who has lost teeth regains the ability to eat virtually anything, knowing that teeth appear natural and that facial contours will be preserved. Patients with dental implants can smile with confidence. Questions about dental implants in Northern New Jersey? Call our office for a consultation.
What are Dental Implants?
The implants themselves are tiny titanium posts, which are inserted into the jawbone where teeth are missing. These metal anchors act as tooth root substitutes. They are surgically placed into the jawbone. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. Small posts are then attached to the implant, which protrude through the gums. These posts provide stable anchors for artificial replacement teeth.
Implants also help preserve facial structure, preventing bone deterioration that occurs when teeth are missing.
The Surgical Procedure
The placement of dental implants involves one or two surgical procedures, depending which method is best for you. In the two phase surgical procedure, implants are placed under the gum tissue within your jawbone. For the first three to six months following surgery, the implants are beneath the surface of the gums gradually bonding with the jawbone. You should be able to wear temporary dentures and eat a soft diet during this time. Any number of types of temporary prosthesis can be constructed to replace the missing tooth while the implant is healing.
After the implant has bonded to the jawbone, the second phase begins. Drs. Gorab, Marsh and Scoggins will uncover the implants and if your dentist desires, attach small posts called abutments, which will act as anchors for the artificial teeth and help form a new gum line collar for the future artificial tooth. These posts protrude through the gums and will eventually accept the artificial tooth (cap) when it is made. When the artificial teeth are placed, these posts will not be seen. The entire procedure can take anywhere from 3 to 7 months. Most patients experience minimal disruption in their daily life. The single surgical method involves placing the implant with a short screwed on cover that protrudes through the gums. This saves a second surgical procedure, and allows the gum line collar to mature longer before placing the final artificial tooth (cap). Drs. Gorab, Marsh and Scoggins will determine which plan is best for you.
Using the most recent advances in dental implant technology, Drs. Gorab, Marsh and Scoggins are able to offer a variety of treatments including the single stage implant as discussed above. Many times implants can be placed at the same time a tooth is extracted– further minimizing the number of surgical procedures. Advances in dental implant technology have made it possible, in select cases, to extract teeth and place implants with crowns at one visit. This procedure, called “immediate loading,” greatly simplifies the surgical process, if it is appropriate for you.
Who actually performs the implant placement?
Implants are a team effort between an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon and a Restorative Dentist. While our doctors perform the actual implant surgery, and initial tooth extractions and bone grafting if necessary, the restorative dentist (your dentist) fits and makes the permanent prosthesis (the artificial tooth or cap). Your dentist will also make any temporary teeth needed during the implant healing process.
What types of prostheses are available?
The doctors of Clifton Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, P.A. perform in-office implant surgery in their operating suite, optimizing the level of sterility while maintaining patient comfort and affordability. Drs. Gorab, Marsh and Scoggins also practice inpatient hospital implant surgery for patients who have special medical or anesthetic needs or for those who need extensive bone grafting from the jaw, hip or tibia.
Why dental implants? Once you learn about dental implants you will realize that this is a way to improve your quality of life. When you lose several teeth – whether it’s a new situation or something you have lived with for years – chances are you have never become fully accustomed to losing such a vital part of yourself.
Dental implants can be your doorway to renewed self-confidence and peace of mind.
A little history. A Swedish scientist and orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Per-Ingvar Branemark, developed this concept (titanium implants in bone) for oral rehabilitation more than thirty-five years ago. With his pioneering research, Dr. Branemark opened the door to a lifetime of renewed comfort and self-confidence for millions of individuals facing the frustration and embarrassment of tooth loss.
Why would you select dental implants over more traditional types of restorations?
There are many reasons: Conventional treatment for a missing tooth requires other teeth to be filed down or crowned in order to ‘bridge’ the gap. This requires removing tooth structure on the ‘innocent bystander’ tooth.
Please click here to read a N.Y Times article about dental implants
Why sacrifice the structure of surrounding good teeth to bridge a space?
An implant does not require this. Another treatment alternative is the removable ‘partial’, which needs to be removed at bedtime, which may be inconvenient, or embarrassing.
Are you a candidate for implants?
If you are considering implants, your mouth must be examined thoroughly and your medical and dental history reviewed. If you mouth is not ideal for implants, ways of improving outcome, such as bone grafting, may be recommended.
What type of anesthesia is used?
The majority of dental implants and bone graft can be performed in the office under local anesthesia, with or without intravenous anesthesia.
Do implants need special care?
Once the implants are in place, they will serve you well for many years if you take care of them and keep your mouth healthy. This means taking the time for good oral hygiene (brushing and flossing) and keeping regular appointments with your dental specialists.