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 will be preserved. The implants are tiny titanium posts which are placed into the jaw bone where teeth are missing. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. In addition, dental implants can help preserve facial structure, preventing the bone deterioration which 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.
Evaluation for Dental Implants
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 either Drs. Meekins and Holesh, or by an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon referred 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.
Surgical Advances in Dental Implants
Using the most recent advances in dental implant technology, Drs. Meekins and Holesh are able to restore single and multiple bridge implants. These implants typically do not require a second procedure to uncover them, but do require a minimum of six weeks of healing time before artificial teeth are placed. There are even situations where an implant can be placed at the same time as a tooth extraction, further minimizing the number of surgical procedures.
Dental implant placement is a team effort between a periodontist/oral surgeon and a restorative dentist. Drs. Meekins or Holesh can perform initial tooth extractions and bone grafting if necessary, and coordinate implant placement with a dedicated specialist. Our team will later fit, design, and place the permanent prosthesis. We will also make any temporary prosthesis needed during the implant process.
Dental Implant Procedure
Dental implants are metal anchors, which act as tooth root substitutes. They are surgically placed into the jaw bone. 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, dental implants are placed within your jaw bone. For the first three to six months following surgery, the implants are beneath the surface of the gums, gradually integrating with the bone. You should be able to wear temporary dentures and eat a soft diet during this time. At the same time, your restorative dentist designs the final bridgework or denture, which will ultimately improve both function and aesthetics.
After the dental implant has completed integration and stabilized, the second phase begins. The surgeon will uncover the implants and attach a small healing collar. Drs. Meekins or Holesh can then start fabricating your new teeth or tooth. An impression must be taken so abutments or attachments can be connected to the implants. The replacement teeth are then made over these very posts or attachments. The entire procedure usually takes six to eight months. Most patients do not experience any disruption in their daily life.