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About Dental Implants

Are dental implants successful?

Research and documentation studies have proven the effectiveness and long lasting results of dental implants. Some types of dental implants, if proper procedures are followed, have demonstrated a success rate of over 95%* in documented studies. Good oral hygiene is one of the most critical factors to insure the health of your dental implants.

Your dentist will instruct you on the proper home hygiene procedures to keep your dental implants and remaining teeth clean and healthy. Regular visits to your dentist are important so your dentist can assess the health of your replacement teeth and gum tissue. You can rely on your replacement teeth to look, feel and function like natural teeth for years to come.

* Results based on implants and bridges remaining and in function over a five year period

Benefits of dental implants

Improved Appearance
When teeth are lost, ongoing shrinkage of the jawbone occurs making the face look older. Dental implants can slow or stop this process. Dental implants look and feel like your own natural teeth.

Improved Comfort
Dental implants eliminate the pain and discomfort of removable full or partial dentures. Since dentures sit on top of the jawbone and gums, continuous shrinkage of the jaw bone alters the fit of the denture resulting in slipping or rocking of the dentures. Exposed nerves and irritation of the gum tissue may add to the discomfort.

Implant supported replacement teeth are like natural teeth because they are anchored securely to your jawbone. Gum irritation and the pain of exposed nerves associated with conventional full or partial dentures are eliminated.

Improved Speech
With ill fitting dentures, the teeth slip and slide around the mouth. The facial muscles become tense in an attempt to hold the teeth in place. This often results in mumbling, slurred speech or clicking noises. Replacement teeth allow you to speak with confidence in a relaxed and natural tone.

Dental implants can restore chewing efficiency comparable to that of natural teeth. This allows you to eat your favorite foods with confidence and without pain, enjoy what everyone is eating and not think twice about it. A full upper denture covers the palate of the mouth and reduces the ability to taste foods. With dental implants, you can have the palate removed from your upper denture so you can taste and enjoy your food.

Convenience
Dental implants can eliminate the numerous embarrassing inconveniences of removable partial and full dentures. You will eliminate the use of gooey denture adhesives that must be re-applied throughout the day. You will no longer need to cover your mouth when you laugh or smile, for fear that your teeth will pop out or fall down.

Protect Your Remaining Natural Teeth
Dental implants are often more appropriate than a bridge for the replacement of one or more adjacent teeth. With conventional bridgework, the teeth surrounding missing teeth must be ground down. Dental implants often eliminate the need to modify these teeth, resulting in a conservative, yet esthetic restoration.

How long does it take?

The complete implant reconstruction process may take from 3 to 9 months and in some cases longer. Procedures can vary, but it usually includes one surgical step when your dentist or a specialist places the dental implants into your jawbone. Time is needed for the bone cells of your jaw to grow around the implants making the implant strong. Once the bone around the implant has good strength, the restoration can then be fabricated.

How much do implants cost?

The fee for tooth replacement with dental implants will depend on several factors, including the number of teeth being replaced and the number of implants required to support your replacement teeth. Some additional procedures may be required prior to the placement of your dental implants to ensure the long-term health of your dental implants. Typically, there is a fee for the surgical procedure and a separate fee to attach the posts and construct your replacement teeth. To obtain a specific fee estimate, it is necessary to have a doctor examine your mouth. After a thorough diagnostic examination, your dentist will recommend the treatment that is best for you and what your investment would be for the procedure.

Is there pain?

Just as with any surgery, there can be some discomfort. Anesthesia and patient sedation are used to eliminate any discomfort at the time of the procedure. Most patients report that there is very little discomfort and that they were much more comfortable following the procedure then they anticipated. Your doctor will prescribe medications to ease any discomfort that may occur. Your dentist may recommend that you speak with another patient who has already had tooth replacement therapy to assess their personal experience.

What is a dental implant?

A dental implant is a small titanium fixture that serves as the replacement for the root portion of a missing natural tooth. The implant is placed in the bone of the upper or lower jaw and allowed to bond with the bone and serve as an anchor for the replacement tooth. Dental implants can be used to replace a single lost tooth or many missing teeth. Implant supported replacement teeth look, feel and function like natural teeth. Dental implants are a proven restorative option with a long clinical history. Dental implants preserve the integrity of the facial structure and reduce the inconvenience associated with tooth loss.

Who is a candidate?

Anyone who is missing one or more of their teeth due to injury, disease or decay, may be a candidate for dental implants. If one or a few teeth are missing, dental implants in conjunction with a crown or bridge can replace those teeth without loosing more bone. If all or most of your teeth are missing, the dental implants may be placed to replace a loose fitting full or partial denture. Adequate bone in your jaw is needed to support the implant(s) along with healthy gum tissues that are free of periodontal disease. Occasionally, older patients express concern that their age may prevent them from enjoying the benefits that dental implants offer. However, health is more of a determining factor than age. If you're healthy enough to have a tooth extracted, you're probably healthy enough to receive dental implants. Certain chronic diseases may contraindicate implant treatment. Your dentist will determine if you are a candidate for dental implants after a careful evaluation of your dental and medical health history.