Implant Dentistry for Replacement Teeth
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 so they can smile with confidence. Please feel free to call us with any questions about dental implants in Savannah, GA, Savannah Phone Number 912-352-2021 .
What are Dental Implants?
The implants themselves are small 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 the bone deterioration that occurs when teeth are missing .
The Dental Implant Surgical Procedure
For most patients, the placement of dental implants involves two surgical procedures . First, implants are placed within your jawbone. For the next 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. At the same time, your restorative dentist is forming new replacement teeth. After the implant has bonded to the jawbone, the second phase begins. Dr. Alvord, Dr. Rawlings and Dr. Young will uncover the implant(s) and attach healing abutment(s). These posts protrude through the gums. The final phase of treatment (restorative) will be completed by your restorative dentist. The entire procedure takes approximately three to eight months. Most patients experience minimal disruption in their daily life. Using the most recent advances in dental implant technology, Drs. Alvord, Rawlings and Young may be 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 placing artificial teeth on them. There are even situations where the implants can be placed at the same time as a tooth extraction 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 process, called “immediate loading” greatly simplifies the surgical process.
If you would like more information on dental implants or other periodontal procedures in Savannah, Georgia please contact us at Savannah Phone Number 912-352-2021.
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.
Who actually performs the dental implant placement?
Implants are a team effort between Drs. Alvord, Rawlings and Young and a restorative dentist. While Drs. Alvord, Rawlings and Young performs the actual implant surgery, and initial tooth extractions and bone grafting if necessary, the restorative dentist fits and makes the permanent prosthesis. Your dentist will also make any temporary prosthesis needed during the implant process.
What types of prostheses are available?
A single prosthesis (crown) is used to replace one missing tooth – each prosthetic tooth attaches to its own implant. A partial prosthesis (fixed bridge) can replace two or more teeth and may require only two or three implants. A complete dental prosthesis (fixed bridge) replaces all the teeth in your upper or lower jaw. The number of implants varies depending upon which type of complete prosthesis (removable or fixed) is recommended. A removable prosthesis (over denture) attaches to a bar or ball in socket attachments, whereas a fixed one is permanent and removable only by the dentist. Drs. Alvord, Rawlings and Young performs in-office implant surgery in a hospital-style operating suite. Inpatient hospital implant surgery is for patients who have special medical or anesthetic needs or for those who need extensive bone grafting from the jaw, hip or tibia.
Why Choose a Dental Implant Solution?
Once you learn about implant dentistry, you finally realize there is a way to improve your 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.
Additional Benefits of Dental Implant Restorations
The good structure of your natural surrounding teeth is not sacrificed to bridge a space using a partial denture or permanent dental bridge. In addition, removing a denture or a “partial” at night may be inconvenient, not to mention that dentures that slip can be uncomfortable and rather embarrassing.
Are You a Candidate for Tooth Implants?
If you are considering implants, Drs. Alvord, Rawlings and Young will examine your mouth thoroughly and will review your medical and dental history. If your 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 can be surgically placed in the office with local anesthesia and IV sedation.
Do Dental 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.
The Dental Implant Surgical Procedure
For most patients, the placement of dental implants involves two surgical procedures. First, implants are placed within your jawbone. Healing time following surgery varies from person to person and is based on a variety of factors, such as hardness of bone. In some cases, implants may be restored immediately after they are placed. For the first three to six months following the surgery, dental implants are beneath the surface of the gums gradually bonding with the jaw bone. You should be able to wear temporary dentures and eat a soft diet at this time. At the same time, your restorative dentist designs the final bridgework or denture that will ultimately improve both function and aesthetics. After the implant has bonded to the jaw bone, the second phase begins. Drs. Alvord, Rawlings and Young will uncover the implants and attach a small healing collar. After two weeks your general dentist will be able to start making your new teeth. An impression 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.
What Types of Prosthesis are Available?
A single prosthesis (crown) is used to replace one missing tooth – each prosthetic tooth attaches to its own implant. A partial prosthesis (fixed bridge) can replace two or more teeth and may require only two or three implants. A complete dental prosthesis (fixed bridge) replaces all the teeth in your upper or lower jaw. The number of implants varies depending upon which type of complete prosthesis (removable or fixed) is recommended. A removable prosthesis (over denture) attaches to a bar or ball in socket attachments, whereas a fixed prosthesis is permanent and removable only by a professional. Drs. Alvord, Rawlings and Young performs in-office dental implant surgery in a hospital-style operating suite, thus optimizing the level of sterility. Inpatient hospital implant surgery is for patients who have special medical or anesthetic needs or for those who need extensive bone grafting from the jaw, hip or tibia. Drs. Alvord, Rawlings and Young has received extensive training in Dental Implantology. Through continuing education, Drs. Alvord, Rawlings and Young is abreast of the most current information on implant dentistry, such as TEETH-IN-AN-HOUR™.
Related Implant Procedures
A key to implant success is the quantity and quality of the bone where the implant is to be placed. Implants often require related procedures to prepare the site to receive the implant fixture or to enhance the mouth’s ability to heal. The following information has been prepared to help you better understand the possible procedures that Drs. Alvord, Rawlings and Young has recommended to assure the most desirable outcome. You may also have other questions after reading the following material. Drs. Alvord, Rawlings and Young would be pleased to discuss them with you.
Sinus Lift (Augmentation)
The upper back jaw has traditionally been one of the most difficult areas to successfully place dental implants due to insufficient bone quantity and quality and the close proximity to the sinus. If you’ve lost bone in that area due to reasons such as periodontal disease or tooth loss, you may be left without enough bone to place implants. Sinus augmentation can help correct this problem by raising the sinus floor and developing bone for the placement of dental implants . Several techniques can be used to raise the sinus and allow for new bone to form. In one common technique, an incision is made to expose the bone. Then a small circle is cut into the bone. This bony piece is lifted into the sinus cavity, much like a trap door, and the space underneath is filled with bone graft material. Drs. Alvord, Rawlings and Young can explain your options for graft materials, which can regenerate lost bone and tissue. Finally, the incision is closed and healing is allowed to take place. Depending on your individual needs, the bone usually will be allowed to develop for about four to twelve months before implants can be placed. After the implants are placed an additional healing period is required. In some cases, the implant can be placed at the same time the sinus is augmented. Sinus augmentation has been shown to greatly increase your chances for successful implants that can last for years to come . Many patients experience minimal discomfort during this procedure.
Careful management of extraction sockets after tooth extraction prevents unsightly bone loss and a better cosmetic outcome of tooth replacement. Research shows that once a tooth is extracted the bone around the socket will shrink up to 25% the first six months and up to 45% over a five year period. By the use of socket augmentation (the use of advanced technical materials to retain tissue height) we can eliminate this resorption process. Ideally this should be done at the time of tooth extraction.
Deformities in the upper or lower jaw can leave you with inadequate bone in which to place dental implants anchors. This defect may have been caused by periodontal disease, wearing dentures, developmental defects, injury, or trauma. Not only does this deformity cause problems in placing the implant, it can also cause an unattractive indentation in the jaw line near the missing teeth that may be difficult to clean and maintain. To correct the problem, the gum is lifted away from the ridge to expose the bony defect. The defect is then filled with bone or bone substitute to build up the ridge. Drs. Alvord, Rawlings and Young can tell you about options for graft materials, which can help to regenerate lost bone and tissue. Finally, the incision is closed and healing is allowed to take place. Depending on your individual needs, the bone usually will be allowed to develop for about four to twelve months before implants can be placed. In some cases, the implant can be placed at the same time the ridge is modified. Ridge modification has been shown to greatly improve appearance and increase your chances for successful implants that can last for years to come. Ridge modification can enhance your restorative success both esthetically and functionally.