Dental implants are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth that look, feel, and function like natural teeth. The person who has lost teeth regains the ability to eat virtually anything and can smile with confidence, knowing that teeth appear natural and that facial contours are preserved. The implants themselves are tiny titanium posts that are placed into the jawbone where teeth are missing. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. In addition, implants can help preserve facial structure, preventing the bone deterioration that 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.
If, like many others, you feel implant dentistry is the choice for you, we ask that you undergo a dental/radiographic examination and health history. During these consultation visits, your specific needs and considerations will be addressed by Dr. Little or by an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon suggested by our practice. Your questions and concerns are important to us and our team will work with you very closely to help make your procedure a success.
For a brief narrated overview of the dental implant process, please click the link below. It will launch our flash educational MiniModule in a separate window that may answer some of your questions about dental implants.
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Dental Implant Procedure
Dental implants act as artificial roots. They are surgically placed into the jawbone. Small posts are then attached to the implant, which protrude through the gums. These posts provide stable anchors for artificial replacement teeth.
For most patients, the placement of dental implants involves two surgical procedures. First, implants are placed within your jawbone. For the first three to six months following surgery, the implants are beneath the surface of the gums gradually integrating with the jawbone. In some cases, implants can be placed and the artificial tooth/teeth can be placed immediately. You should be able to wear temporary teeth and eat a soft diet during this time. At the same time, your restorative dentist designs the final crown, bridgework, or denture, which will ultimately improve both function and aesthetics.
After the implant has integrated with the jawbone, the second phase begins. Your surgeon will uncover the implants and attach a small healing collar. Then, the dentist will be able to begin making your new teeth. An impression or digital scan must be taken. Then posts or attachments can be connected to the implants. The teeth replacements are then made over the posts or attachments. The entire procedure usually takes six to eight months. Most patients do not experience any disruption in their daily life.