What is a Dental Implant?

A dental implant is a titanium screw that can be inserted into your jawbone during a minor surgical procedure and that serves as an anchor for one or more artificial teeth. There are several different types of artificial teeth (or dental prosthetics) that can be used with dental implants:

 

Single Crowns – Are supported by a single implant and used to replace one tooth.

Fixed Dentures – Used to replace a large segment or an entire arch of teeth, and are usually supported by 3-6 implant.

Bridges – Used to replace 3-4 teeth and are supported by 2 implants.

Overdentures – Used to replace an arch of teeth. However, instead of being permanently fixed in place, this type of prosthesis is of the “snap-in and out” variety.

Prior to Implant Therapy

Dental implants must be positioned in a specific way to properly support the artificial teeth and to ensure long-term stability. In addition to a thorough examination, Dr. Limmer uses a 3-dimensional x-ray, also called a cone-beam CT scan (CBCT), to precisely plan out each patient’s treatment and to evaluate any possible challenges.

Dental implants need to be entirely surrounded by healthy bone to be stable, so one particular challenge exists when a patient does not have enough bone. In those cases, a bone graft maybe recommended to attempt to create more.

Implant Surgery

Dental implant surgery involves numbing the area, creating a small incision in the gum tissue, drilling a hole in the jawbone, carefully inserting the implant, and placing several stitches to close the incision.

In some cases, a tooth can be extracted, the implant placed, and a temporary tooth inserted all in the same appointment. Other cases may require that the process be staged over multiple visits to ensure the best results.

Implant Restoration

Implants usually require 6-8 weeks of healing to completely fuse into the jaw. After this has occurred, fabrication of the new artificial teeth can begin. This process usually involves 2-4 appointments, depending on case complexity, and involves both the artistic and technical aspects of prosthetic dentistry. Dr. Limmer uses his expertise in dental esthetics, as well as the latest technology, to create implant restorations that are both beautiful and durable.

Why Go to a Specialist?

Although dental implants are a proven treatment option with years of research behind them, both the dental implants and the artificial teeth attached to them come with risks that need to be carefully managed to achieve a beautiful and long lasting result.

Prosthodontists, Periodontists, and Oral Surgeons are dentists with specific expertise in implant therapy and have gone through years of additional training to be able to recognize problems before they happen and to manage any complications efficiently and effectively when they do occur.

Want to Learn More About Dental Implants?

Download our eBook: “7 Things to Know About Dental Implants”, written by Dr. Bryan Limmer, or  contact us to schedule a consultation to learn more about your options.