Dental Implants Presentation
To provide you with a better understanding of dental implants, we have provided the following multimedia presentation. Many common questions pertaining to dental implants are discussed.
What are dental implants?
A natural tooth consists of a root and a crown. If you compare natural teeth to implant-supported replacement teeth, you’ll see they have the same basic parts. Both have a crown (the visible part used to chew food). Both have a root that holds the tooth securely under the gum and is anchored into the jaw. The difference is that the implant is made of titanium – the same time-tested material used by surgeons for artificial joints. When you lose a tooth, you lose both the root and the crown. To replace the tooth, the surgeon first replaces the root with a small dental implant.
Time is allowed for bone to heal and grow around the dental implant. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. A support post (abutment) is then placed on the implant and a new replacement tooth (crown) is placed on top of the abutment. In many cases a temporary replacement tooth can be attached to the implant immediately after it is placed. If all of your teeth are missing, a variety of treatment options are available to support the replacement teeth.
Three Components of a Dental Implant
- The fixture (implant) lies below the gum line and is that part of the dental implant that is embedded in and becomes fused with the jawbone through a natural process called osseointegration. The fixture serves the same purpose as the original tooth root.
- The abutment component is attached to the fixture and is at or above the gum line. The replacement dental work is placed on the abutment.
- The prosthesis is the part that replaces the missing tooth or teeth. The new dental work can be a dental crown, bridge, or denture.
See also: Dental Implant Placement FAQ
“Don’t be afraid to Smile.”
For years I’d felt like a part of my body was missing — because my teeth were. My dentist told me that dental implants would make me feel and look a lot better. OK, I said. Now, I’m thrilled. I can smile, eat anything, and enjoy a good laugh with my friends.
Surgical Advances in Dental Implants
Using the most recent advances in dental implant technology, Dr. DiVincenzo, Dr. Lefkowitz and Dr. Chang are able to place single stage implants. These implants do not require a second procedure to uncover them, but do require a minimum of six weeks of healing time before artificial teeth are placed. There are even situations where the implant can be placed at the same time as the tooth extraction – further minimizing your number of surgical procedures.
Dental implant placement is a team effort between a periodontist and a restorative dentist. Drs. DiVincenzo, Lefkowitz or Chang perform the actual implant surgery, initial tooth extractions, and bone grafting if necessary. The restorative dentist (your dentist) fits and makes the permanent prosthesis. Your dentist will also make any temporary prosthesis needed during the implant process.
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