Dental Implants serve as a foundation for restorations such as crowns and dentures. Their value and popularity lay in the fact that, when properly placed, they provide the strength and stability of natural teeth. In many cases, those who undergo the procedure experience a life changing transformation, regaining the ability to smile and eat with confidence, just as if they had a full set of natural, healthy teeth. An added benefit of Dental Implants is that, by preventing bone regression and migration, facial contours are preserved.
An Implant is a tiny post, usually made of titanium that is placed into the jawbone where teeth are missing. Over time, surrounding bone bonds with the Implant. This process is known as osseointegration. The result is a solid and reliable foundation for the placement of temporary or permanent dental restorations such as dentures and crowns.
Are you a Candidate for Dental Implants?
If, you believe that Dental Implant dentistry could be right for you, the first step in making this determination is to receive a Dental Implant evaluation. The evaluation consists of x-rays, and perhaps a Cone Beam 3D CT scan, and health history. One of our doctors, in collaboration with an oral and maxillofacial specialist will answer and address your questions and concerns to your complete satisfaction before scheduling your Dental Implant procedure.
Dental Implant Procedure
As noted above, a Dental Implant is nothing more than a substitute for the root of a tooth. Once placed, a small post is attached to the Implant. The post extends above the gum tissue far enough so that it serves as an anchor on which a temporary or permanent restoration may be placed.
The Dental Implant procedure typically involves two steps.The first step is placement of the Implant. Three to six months following this procedure, the Implants rest out of sight beneath the surface of the gums. This is the period during which osseointegration takes place. During this period, you wear a temporary Denture, which permits you to eat a diet of soft foods. One way to determine what is safe to eat is anything you can eat with a spoon (just avoid scooping spoonfuls of peanuts and jawbreakers)!
The second phase entails revealing the Implant and attaching a small healing collar. Drs. Cerrato, Sheehan and Lizzio then commence the process of creating your new tooth (restoration). First, an impression is taken. Next an attachment is placed over the Implant. Your restoration is then positioned over the attachment.
The entire procedure from start to finish typically requires only 6 to 8 months, during which time you should expect no disruption to your normal activities.