Dental Implants: A Better Way to Replace Teeth
Why are dental implants important?
Missing a tooth isn’t just bad for your looks; it can be bad for your health as well! Healthy teeth play an important role in the body from head to toe. When you are missing one your jawbone deteriorates, your self-esteem suffers, and so does your diet, all things that negatively affect the health of your entire body. Dental implants look, feel, and function just like natural teeth and are widely recognized by specialists as the best replacement method.
The Miracle of Osseointegration (How Dental Implants Work)
With dental implants, people are rediscovering the comfort and confidence to eat, speak, laugh and enjoy life.
What is a dental implant?
Dental implants are made of titanium. A completed implant includes three pieces: the implant itself (a titanium screw that is placed in the jawbone), the abutment (a connector between the implant and crown) and the crown (the part that is visible and looks like a tooth). Dr. Sturtz, Dr. Betts, Dr. Wasielewski and Dr. Bartling will place the implant and the abutment, and the crown will be completed by your general dentist.
Time is of the Essence
You may be surprised to hear that your jawbone is a lot like a muscle, in that it must be stimulated regularly in order to maintain its volume. Therefore, when a tooth is extracted (or falls out naturally), the jawbone begins to deteriorate almost immediately. In fact, studies show that within a year of tooth loss there is a 25% decrease in bone width. Thankfully, dental implants can take the place of natural teeth to provide the stimulus needed by the jaw. If done early this greatly reduces the need for bone grafting down the road.
2. Tooth Loss
3. Healed Bone
4. Implant Placed
6. Implant Restored
How much do dental implants cost?
While the upfront cost is often more than that of alternatives such as bridges and dentures, dental implants outlast those approaches by several decades. This increased longevity makes implants the more affordable choice in the long run. For further information visit our dental implants cost page.
Dental Implants: The Process
- Consultation and Treatment Plan: During the initial phase of the dental implant process, imaging is gathered along with your medical and dental histories to give us a clear picture of your current health. We will then explore your treatment options with you to formulate a plan that ensures both your health goals and budgetary needs are met.
- Extraction: The next step is to have the tooth in question extracted. In some cases, we may be able to place the implant at the same time of extraction. In others, bone grafting will be required prior to implant placement (see next step).
- Bone Grafting: It is fairly common for the jawbone to lack the mass needed to accept an implant. In this case, a bone graft will be performed first to strengthen the target area. Bone grafting is typically followed by several months of healing before the implant can be placed.
- Dental Implant Surgery: During the implant procedure itself, a titanium screw is inserted into your jawbone. You will be anesthetized for comfort during the surgery, which takes about 1-2 hours.
- Osseointegration: After placing the implant, we cover it with the surrounding soft tissue and let it sit for 3 months in order to fuse with the bone.
- Final Restoration: After osseointegration is complete, an abutment is placed on the implant to connect with the final crown restoration. Typically, the final restoration is done by a general dentist.
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.
At Plymouth Ann Arbor Oral and Facial Surgery we are proud to offer a safe, comfortable, and affordable dental implant experience to our patients with the help of cutting-edge technology and utilization of the latest techniques. Call us at Plymouth Office Phone Number 734-455-0710 to get started on your journey — we are here with the support, guidance, and expertise you deserve!